Rwanda: Tea Farmers Raise Rwf10m to Support Vulnerable Families

Tea farmers and staff from Rubavu District-based Pfunda Tea Company have raised Rwf10 million meant to support the most vulnerable members of the society during the lockdown the country is undergoing to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The funds were handed over to Rubavu District officials on Wednesday and will be used to provide food for needy residents in the district, especially those who used to make a living on daily wages.

Informal cross-border traders from the district which are dominated by women, are some of the most-hit business operators after the government announced the restriction of movement across its borders.

Come de Gaule Nyirarugo, the Head of Production at Pfunda Tea Company, said they had been inspired by the government's call to help the most vulnerable to cope with the economic consequences of COVID-19.

"We just came up with an idea that before being farmers and the factory staff we are all Rwandans... we have all agreed on contributing to our Government efforts towards supporting the most vulnerable members of the society affected by the COVID-19 lockdown," He said

Nyirarugo went on to say that the funds were gathered voluntarily with every staff member contributing based on their financial ability.

Rubavu District Mayor, Gilbert Habyarimana, welcomed the development saying "It significantly contributed towards the welfare of vulnerable.

Habyarimana told The New Times that the district would use the donation from Pfunda Tea Company to buy food items for its vulnerable residents to cope with the lockdown.

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