As part of our pledge to continue “Strengthening Rwanda”, CIMERWA has dedicated a significant amount of resources on initiatives to strengthen the community and its sense of aspiration. Through a strong socio-economic drive to empower and enable Rwandans in our local community in Rusizi district, CIMERWA has invested in the Education, Health, Entrepreneurship and Sports sectors. CIMERWA also provides clean water to its surrounding areas. CIMERWA is also providing health insurance to most-in-need Rwandans in Rusizi.
As part of our CSR programme, CIMERWA has:
1.Provided a fully equipped clinic with a brand new ambulance to serve the community of three neighbouring sectors.
2.Established a nursery and primary school that hosts 480 students and which are ranked highly in the Rusizi District Primary School Leaving National Exams.
3.Maintained a recreational site and a public garden at Mashyuza Hot Springs.
4.Provided support for genocide survivors by constructing homes worth 30 million Rwandan Francs.
5.Secured free company land and concessions for community farming activities.
6.Supported a local Football Club that now plays in the National Football Premier league
Helped upcoming local musicians and artists to explore and develop their talents.
Twelve years ago, CIMERWA School had 64 students. Today in 2015, there are 453 students, across three classes, with fourteen teachers, one headmaster, and over the last three years the school has been ranked second in performance in the Rusizi district for the national exam. In 2008, CIMERWA developed the school even more by investing RWF 123.8 million. Now, in response to a growing demand, the school is being expanded to include three years of high school so that scholars qualify for colleges and universities. Parents are part of the success as well, being largely involved in management and in a local committee that oversees the mission and vision of the school.
CIMERWA Clinic was established at commissioning of the plant in 1984. It includes a pharmacy, a 13-bed hospital and a laboratory manned by trained staff. It has grown over time with the addition of new services like family planning, HIV care, and immunization with vaccines provided by the Government. It now has a staff of 11, including a physician, two lab technicians, seven nurses and a cashier. In addition to the staff of the plant and their dependents, the Health Centre is open to the local population who pay a subsidized consultation fee and the medicines are made available to them at cost price. The clinic is constantly growing and has now acquired a brand new ambulance that will also be used in community outreach programs organized by the clinic.
The Turf Blocks Project is an initiative by CIMERWA to engage women in the community of Bugarama to make blocks that are used for paving of parking lots for commercial structures, access roads, private residence compounds and high way escapements to prevent landslides and control heavy rainwater flow. This project currently equips 48 women in Bugarama with the technical capacity/ability to make these blocks which in turn facilitates their personal growth. This project is part of an ongoing effort by CIMERWA to add value to the Bugarama community across different sectors.
CIMERWA recognized that as the need for tailored outfits for use around the factory emerged, the tailors in the community next to the plant would be a key source of technical skills. Local tailors organized themselves to work in conjunction with CIMERWA to provide the required tailory service. The tailors were given an opportunity during the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations in 2014 – they were tasked to produce 128 graduation gowns within four days for the kindergarten and primary students of the CIMERWA School.
A total of 56 women worked independently under the guidance of CIMERWA and eventually delivered within the set timelines. CIMERWA remains committed to engaging these women in current and future projects aided with skilled guidance from the company.
During one of CIMERWA’s meetings with the community, a young girl sat quietly, knitting a scarf with so much ease oblivious of the meeting’s proceedings to the admiration of others. This drew the attention of the company’s staff that saw not only a hobby at display but also a business opportunity. Two months later, a knitting project has been initiated and membership has risen to more than 20 of school going and recent graduate girls. The group meets during their free time under the coordination and mentorship of CIMERWA school teachers. They recently got their first big order of 20 scarves from South Africa. CIMERWA will continue hosting the project, provide technical skills and market the finished products. This is the beginning of a journey to economic empowerment for the girls and their families.