On Friday 12th August 2023, in Terimbere village, Nyundo sector of Rubavu district, EPC Africa group extended a compassionate hand to the residents of three villages within the Nyundo Sector of Rubavu District that have been significantly impacted by floods and landslides in May of this year.
The affected residents received essential supplies including food such as maize flour, beans, cooking oil, as well as kitchen utensils, cleaning materials, and shoes.
This initiative underscores EPC Africa’s commitment to community welfare, particularly in times of distress.
Beyond these immediate provisions, EPC Africa Group shareholders and management have taken a pioneering step towards lasting transformation for these affected individuals. It has pledged three million Rwandan francs as a guarantor within the Umurenge SACCO microfinance framework. This noble approach enables citizens seeking to establish small businesses to access loans without requiring collateral.The beneficiaries expressed much gratitude, and they are thankful to Nyundo Sector that selected them, but also to EPC Africa Group that implemented this program, and promised to increase this pledged amount annually.
Jean Berchmas, a 75 -year-old widow shared his personal story stating that: “Before the disaster struck, I was living alone calmly. The calamity left my dwelling in ruins, So I thank God who brought you here, and leaders who think about us every day”. From this small loan he said, “I will initiate rabbit breeding, therefore start a small business that can generate income. May you be all blessed for this long-lasting solution to my challenges," he added.
Manizabayo Vestine, another recipient of EPC Africa’s benevolence, echoed the prevailing sentiment. She acknowledged, "Our hearts are filled with joy, for this assistance is poised to redefine our lives. The relief package, comprising maize flour, cooking oil, beans, kitchen and dining materials signify that our children will no longer endure days of scarcity especially in this dry season. May you be blessed abundantly," she said.
Nyiransengiyumva Monique, the Executive Secretary of Nyundo Sector, conveyed sincere appreciation on behalf of the impacted community. Nyiransengiyumva characterized EPC Africa as a steadfast sector partner, offering solace to individuals grappling with the aftermath of widespread calamity.She also lauded EPC Africa’s visionary approach, hailing its effort to empower individuals apprehensive about traditional loans due to collateral constraints. This transformative stance allows them to act as guarantors, granting access to credit and jumpstarting their ambitions.
Nyiransengiyumva explained, "Our mission involves aiding these individuals in honing their project blueprints, ensuring optimal utilization of the financial resources. With our intimate understanding of their needs, cultivated through our role as intermediaries, we will collaborate in refining their project proposals and expediting their submission to the SACCO."
Turasenga Ferdy, the CEO of EPC Africa Group, articulated how the disaster had directly impacted their operations, including the Keya Hydropower plant and Rubavu Port project. This proximity to the affected region imbued them with a sense of neighborly responsibility, prompting their immediate response. Ferdy explained, "Just as a neighbor who thrives extends a helping hand, we stand united with the community. Our support within the SACCO sector stands as a tangible pledge, enabling the most affected members of the community to access financial assistance towards economic recovery journey.
EPC Africa’s commitment transcends the immediate crisis response. The company has contributed significantly to enhancing educational opportunities for underprivileged students through the EPC Africa Tubakunde Initiative for the past three years.
In the coming year, 2024, EPC Africa aspires to broaden its educational outreach, elevating the number of families benefiting from this initiative from 65 to an impressive 100 families. Such ongoing efforts reflect EPC Africa’s enduring commitment to holistic community socio-economic empowerment.
Photos by Bruce Mbanzabugabo