Community Health Workers in Karongi District have set the bar for their counterparts across the country which is poised to change the way society perceives them.
The 1,611 community health workers grouped in 22 cooperatives, mobilized savings and constructed a commercial complex worth Rwf 350 Million.
They raised over Rwf15 million from each of the 22 cooperatives that form ‘Community Health Workers Investment Group’ (CHWIG).
The two-floor magnificent complex ‘Agaciro Legacy’ is located in Bwishyura Sector in Karongi district. It has 26 rooms ready for rent. The units are planned for restaurants, pubs, and pharmacies. Construction lasted 7 months.
One square meter of space in the building costs Rwf9000 downstairs and Rwf5000 upstairs, which would earn them about Rwf8 million every month.
“When we started I couldn’t believe we would make it. Now I see the fruits of coming together,” said Fulgence Runombe, a shareholder.
Health workers do not earn any money from their service. However, the Ministry of Health in appreciation of their service to community, deposits between Rwf 1 Million and Rwf 1.8 Million on each of the cooperatives’ account every six months.
It is this money the cooperative members saved to contribute to the construction of the complex.
A number of cooperatives in Rwanda are defying odds, not because members have a lot of money, but because they are moving together with a target.
Several cooperatives of the elderly people on direct support for example – VUP save part of their monthly stipend.
For example, in Ndora sector, Gisagara district, beneficiaries of this scheme raised Rwf42 Million and built a two-floor commercial and office building in February.