SURE (Society for Urban and Rural Empowerment) identified potential Mei-Ramew Cafe owners: Kong Phawa from Cham-Cham, East Jaintia Hills and Kong Kyndait fromMawpyut, West Jaintia Hills. NESFAS in collaboration with SURE organised an exchange visit to the two Mei-Ramew Cafes in Ri-Bhoi District which belongs to Plantina Mujai and Dial Muktieh respectively on February 19, 2020 for a capacity building learning experience.
The two café owners explained to the visitors about the concept, value chain and the several guidelines of the Mei-Ramew Cafe. They also shared their real-life experiences about they ran the café all these years.
This was followed by a cooking demonstration of some of the Bhoi Community’s delicacies by using local ingredients that are easily available all across Jaintia Hills. They taught the Jaintia Hills community members how to cook jhur wang (taro stem), jhur jajew and chutney chermit (turmeric). At the same time, they also demonstrated how to make roselle juice and snacks made from tapioca.
Several value added products were also showcased. The potential Mei-Ramew Cafe owners, Kong Phawa and Kong Kyndait, were inspired by the utilization of natural building materials to construct the cafe.
R Phawa, one of the members who visited Ri-Bhoi from Jaintia Hills, said, “I benefitted a lot by coming here. Through this exchange visit, I have learned many things which would have not been possible if I only stayed at home.” She added, “The local communities here consume more traditional food and depend less from the market. I hope to implement this learning in my own community.”