Traditionally, the men tilled the soil for cash crops, including coffee, and the women tilled the soil for food crops. But after the genocide, most of the men were dead, in prison or living as refugees in exile.
"For these women to entrust that there's something that coffee can bring to their lives and their bottom line is…[nothing] short of a miracle," Karuletwa said. "For them to learn from scratch, to learn from zero and to pick up coffee where it was left off, which is in a bad state, is also [nothing] short of a miracle."
As the women began working to rebuild the coffee industry, they had to come together and trust each other again. They've shown grace and forgiveness at times when it might have seemed unimaginable.
"I've seen these women pick up the very icon, the very tool, which is an agricultural tool, and the irony around that is that this agricultural tool, the machete, was also the very tool that amputated people," Karuletwa said.
It's the same tool they now use to prune and weed their coffee. Karuletwa says the simple act of using the machete requires moments of connection and healing.