I&M Bank supports a widow as part of the commemoration activities

I&M Bank Staff take a group photo during the visit. Photos by Joseph Mudingu.

On Friday, 18th August 2018,a team of I&M Bank staff led by the Managing Director Mr. Robin Bairstow travelled to Rwabicuma Sector, Nyanza province for the handing over ceremony of a house built for Madam Elina Mukandekezi, who is a genocide survivor.

The CSR activity was as a result of the Bank’s partnership with Avega agahozo, Ibuka and Aegis Trust. It is through these partnerships that the Bank continues to fulfil its commitment to honour the memory of the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, help survivors rebuild their lives as well as contribute to the prevention of future conflict through education and confronting the prejudices and beliefs that lead to Genocide.

While handing over the land titles to Madam Mukandekezi, the Bank’s Managing Director Mr. Robin Bairstow thanked all those that participated in ensuring she had a home and mentioned that is is everyone’s responsibility to ensure they contribute towards shaping the future of Rwanda.

“Though we can’t change history, we have a responsibility to contribute in shaping the future that Rwanda deserves. As I&M Bank Rwanda, we are hounered to be part of this journey. As we gather here today to extend the support to Madam Mukandekezi who survived the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, we acknowledge the way in which the people of Rwanda have sought to find healing and move forward” said Mr. Bairstow. 

I&M staff members join residents in song during the handover ceremony.

Light at the end of the tunnel

At 50 years, Madam Elina Mukandekezi, a widow and a survivor of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi is crippled and bedridden and had not seen the sun in six years.

A resident of Rwabicuma sector in Nyanza District, Madam Mukandekezi’s former house was in shambles and about to collapse over her head.

Her bed was made up of mud bricks and a mat and her bedroom was dump and dark with no ventilation. She had lost all hope until staff from I&M Bank paid her a visit.

Though she had daughters and grandchildren, the vunerable lady could hardly be taken care of because of lack of resources.

It was with the help of Avega Agahozo, Ibuka and Aegis Trust that employees of I&M learnt about her predicament through the local sector’s authorities and came to her rescue.

“I cannot believe that I can see the sun any time I want. I had not seen it for six years and I missed it so much” says Mukandekezi with tears of joy in her eyes.

The MD takes a photo with Mukandekenzi and her grand children.

As part of their Cooperate Social Responsibility, I&M Bank bought a plot for her and built her a three bedroomed house which they fully furnished. They also gave her a special clinical bed which can be rolled on to the balcony to sun busk.

According to Jean Marie Ruhumuriza, the Employee Relations and Deputy Head of HR at I&M Bank, they chose to help Mukandenkezi because of the condition she was living in.

“We were given a number of people by IBUKA to choose from and we decided to help Madam Elina. She needed a better place to stay and given her health, she needed immediate assistance. “said Ruhumiriza.

Also as part of its Cooperate Social Responsibility, I&M Bank over the last few years has offered internship and employment opportunities to surviving children of those ex-staff who were killed in the Genocide against the Tutsi. Five survivors have so far benefited and have become part of the I&M Bank team and the bank continues to look out for more.