Mutuelle for Kinigi Sector

In Rwanda ‘Mutuelle’ refers to Mutuelle de Santé, a community-based health insurance. It is a medical scheme especially developed to cover medical costs for poor families and vulnerable groups.

A premium is paid once a year in June to ensure medical health care for people who are not covered via an employer or private scheme. Although the per-person fee for this community-based health care is not high, for the most disadvantaged people in Rwandan society, it is still too expensive to provide cover for their families.

But thanks to donations received from guests visiting Bisate Lodge, we have been able to assist all the households in the Kinigi Sector that were unable to afford the Mutuelle payment.

The Kinigi Sector consists of 28 villages, all situated in the area surrounding Bisate Lodge and Volcanoes National Park. These 28 villages are split across five cells – Kaguhu, Nyabigoma, Bisoke, Kampanga and Nyonirima – whose leaders provided a list of the households most in need. In total 624 households, consisting of 2 738 people across all the villages, were identified as requiring the support.

A total of just over USD8 100 was donated to cover the 624 households’ premiums.

The assistance was organised under the supervision of Innocent Twagirimana, Executive Secretary of the Kinigi Sector, and Aline Umutoni, CITW and Community Co-ordinator for Wilderness Safaris Rwanda.

On Wednesday 22 June, the medical scheme payment was completed at a local ceremony, and each household received proof of their Mutuelle registration, covering them from July 2022 to June 2023.

During the event Rob Baas, Wilderness Rwanda MD, as well as Innocent and Aline all addressed the villagers. The local press was also present and interviewed the three representatives, as well as some of the local residents.

‘We are incredibly grateful that we can provide such meaningful support to the surrounding villages. Medical aid is invaluable for these families. With the support of Wilderness, Children in the Wilderness and our Bisate guests, we were able to ensure that all the people, even those who cannot afford it, have access to medical care’, said Rob Baas. ‘What is effectively a small contribution per person has had a huge, positive effect on the entire Kinigi Sector – thanks to Wilderness’ vision of sustainable tourism’.

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