Akagera Business Group is a company known for dealing in cars and other different business ventures, but in addition, also engages in activities that improve the livelihoods of people in the communities it operates in.
Among some of the remarkable activities that are a means of giving back to the community include the construction of a decent house for one of the genocide survivors living in Jali Sector in Gasabo District.
The story of Musanabaganwa Marie Chantal is a rather heartbreaking one as she spent close to two years without a house. What she called a house was a shack that had only iron sheets for walls and that is where she lived with her livestock.
‘’I have been living in that house for over two years and every time it would rain, I would sit the whole night as my roof was leaking and I had to find somewhere to sit till morning,’’ she says.
In a sad low tone, she reminisced the nights she would have to stay up when wild animals used to attack her poultry because she used to stay with them in the same house that wasn’t secure enough for them and her as a person.
While handing over the key to her house today by the team from Akagera Business Group led by the Managing Director, Mr. Senthil Ganesh Shanbagamoorthy, Musanabaganwa Marie Chantal couldn’t hold back her tears as she thanked the entire team for the thoughtful action.
‘’I would really love to thank the entire Akagera Business Group for not only having focused on what they do alone, but also thought about us, the less privileged members of society and built me such a good house where I will be able to sleep peacefully,’’ she said as tears of joy uncontrollably rolled down her cheeks.
In attendance at the event where the beneficiary was handed over the key to her furnished house as well as a number of items including a sack of rice, a box of milk, soap and others was the Executive Secretary of Jali sector, Mr. Rugabirwa Deo, who like the beneficiary, expressed his delight towards the generous act of Akagera Business Group.
‘’This is not the first time my Sector is benefiting from Akagera Business Group as a lot has been done in the past years, which include paying the “Mutuelle de Santé” for over 100 families in only 2019, helped in making the road that was in a dire state, as well as donating cement for a local school that was being constructed,’’ he said.
He went on to say that a number of people have received mattresses from ABG and without their intervention, the community would not be in the state it is in right now and encouraged ABG to go on with helping the societies they operate in.
Shortly after handing over the keys to the house, Akagera Business Group’s Managing Director, Mr. Senthil Ganesh Shanbagamoorthy noted that the company believes in the well-being of the society be it in their health, welfare, education or among others.
“As an organization, we believe that we should use our skills and resources to empower change and make a difference for our people, our clients and our community. Every day, we use our expertise to create solutions for our customers, with the aim of improving the community where we live and work.
As Akagera Business Group marks its 22nd anniversary in Rwanda, this commitment only continues ensuring the future success of our society, he mentioned.
At the heart of ABG’s culture, our efforts are united to go beyond our storefronts and workshops. As we witnessed today, our contributions include not only the financial and physical build of many homes in the Jali sector for individuals such as Marie Chantal, but health insurance for hundreds of families. We also contributed to various local infrastructure developments including road construction and electricity for the sector.
Our investment in business education and volunteerism at all levels has brought about a multiplier effect. Our internship training program that we offer throughout the year to school / University students and of various institutions, encourages knowledge, creation of ideas and understanding with an aim of helping expand student learning opportunities, applied learning, professional exposure, and the opportunity to learn from Rwanda’s business leaders.
We look forward to another year of driving change, delivering leadership, and creating shared economic and social values in Rwanda, Mr.Senthil Ganesh said.”
Similarly, Ikirunga Art Center in Musanze, in the Southern Province of Rwanda is another beneficiary from the different activities of giving back to the society from Akagera Business Group. Kibe Namwanala Nchombo, the founder of this facility, says that he is really grateful for the charitable works that his art center has overtime received from Akagera Business Group and he owes the prosperity of the art centrer to ABG.
‘’As an art center, we have benefitted a lot from Akagera Business Group and some of the major support we have gotten includes payment of rent, acquisition of canvases and colors which have kept the art center moving and we are really grateful,’’ he explained to the New Times in a short interview.
Gatera Bonaventure is another grateful beneficiary from ABG as he has been able to go back to school and pursue a Bachelors Degree from Christian University of Rwanda.
‘’I finished my Senior Six around 2007 and I was not able to go back to school as I didn’t manage to raise enough funds that were needed for me to join university,’’ he calmly said in an interview with The New Times.
‘’However, I began working as a House Master for one of the company’s employees and he recommended me as one of the candidates that would benefit from the different activities the company does in helping send the less fortunate to school and I was chosen,’’ he continued.
Currently, Gatera completed his first year and is looking forward to yet another successful year of studies and extends his heartfelt appreciation to Akagera Business Group.
‘’I am so grateful to the company that has helped me go back to school and pursue my dreams. Without their assistance, I would not be where I am currently,’’ he said in conclusion. Due to Akagera Business Group's commitment to the growth of their employees, Gatera is interested in working in the finance department post-graduation.