As part of “RYAMA HEZA MUCUKUZI” program, on Monday, March 8th, 2021, in Rulindo District at Rutongo Mines Ltd, an event was held to provide mattresses to 106 mining Workers which will be paid in four installments.
It is an initiative of Rwanda Extractive Industry Workers Union (REWU) in collaboration with the Rutongo Mines Ltd as well as RWANDAFOAM Ltd.
The event was graced by the Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs in Rulindo District, Marie Claire Gasanganwa, REWU Deputy Secretary General, Bwanakweli Jean Marie, REWU Eastern-Northern Regional Coordinator Musabyimana Deogratias, Kevin Buyskes, the General Manager of Rutongo Mines Ltd, Executive Secretary of Masoro Sector, Workers and their representatives among others.
The mattresses valued at Rwf 7,585,100 were given to 106 employees who are REWU Trade union members and will pay in installments over a period of four months.
Each employee has a contract with the company or subcontractor where modalities of payment are agreed upon.
Mattresses and other necessary equipment are often given to miners through a joint agreement between REWU as a trade union representative of mining and quarry workers, the company whom they are serving and the suppliers so that Workers get any type of necessity which they will gradually pay
In his remarks, REWU Deputy Secretary General Mr. Bwanakweli Jean Marie began by explaining the mission of REWU and how the union arrived at Rutongo Mines where he explained that although it was not easy at that moment, Nowadays the Rutongo Mines Ltd is working well with the REWU.
Mr. Bwanakweli said that “REWU’s activities are in line with the Government of Rwanda’s programs. When we offer these mattresses, we aim to change the mindset of miners where they make money but do not achieve Development because some of them, they mostly spend their salaries on alcohol.”
“We want to change their mindset regarding participation in their own development. REWU is not here to talk about laws only, we also seek the wellbeing of miners and that how we came to the conclusion that we can put up a scheme where we connect miners to potential suppliers who can provide them with necessities such as solar energy, bicycles, mattresses and we are currently looking for a partner who can give them iron sheets that they can pay gradually.” Bwanakweli said.
The Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs in Rulindo District, Marie Claire Gasanganwa commended the existing partnership between the involved parties adding that “this indicates that this initiative is supporting Government programs.”
“It’s unfortunate that someone is making money from hard work and you find him sleeping on a bad bed,” she said.
“I’m really grateful you received these mattresses on Women’s (8th March). This means that today your wives are going to sleep well.
“Imagine to have a lovely wife that you’ve done whatever possible to win her heart and you end up sleeping in a dirty bed!”
She encouraged Mining workers to take part in solving this great task: “One of the things you and other people can do is keep up working for your development on the family level and the National level”.
Mr. Kevin Buyskes, the General Manager of Rutongo Mines Ltd reminded that on the same day when the World was celebrating the International Women’s Day, the company has also distributed other gifts to women workers as part of showing the company’s support to them.
“And now we have mattresses! This is crazy! (laughter)” Mr. Kevin Buyskes said.
“This is a very good initiative to arrange mattresses for our people, at the end of the day if you have to work hard during day hours you must sleep well at night.
So, the concept of sending mattresses is a very good idea, I certainly urge that each one of you must make good use of mattresses and that can give you the strength to work hard next time.” Mr. Kevin told mattresses beneficiaries.