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Fairtrade Premium has helped Sorwathe workers & families

For some years now, SORWATHE Ltd, a Fairtrade Certified tea producer in Rwanda has eased the financial burden for its workers by covering their annual health insurance costs, including that of their spouses. However, to access medical care themselves, Rwandan law requires parents to have an active insurance subscription for their children as well. This means that while workers and their spouses were covered, they still had to go into their pockets and acquire medical insurance for their children too. According to Stephanie, Fairtrade Officer at SORWATHE Ltd, this had a huge effect on workers’ productivity whereby some workers would stop coming to work when their children got sick.

To ease this burden, SORWATHE’s workers’ Fairtrade association (Association Des Travailleurs Dela-ATSO) made a decision to invest in workers’ healthcare. As a result, all 1,463 workers, both permanent and temporary now have an active insurance subscription that will cover themselves, their spouses and children. Fairtrade Premium contribution is RWF 3,000 per person, “the number of children a worker has does not matter, even if they are 10, they are all covered,” explains Stephanie.

“Workers are very happy. Before, it was difficult to get insurance for their children. Now, we are okay. Productivity has increased because workers and their families can access medical care,” she continues.
Kagorora Venuste, a permanent worker expresses his gratitude for the medical insurance assistance project, “when we did not have medical insurance for the whole family, it was hard for workers. Sometimes it would lead to loss of family members. This assistance is very exciting to all workers and their families because they can now save on the money spent paying for medical insurance. Now, it will be saved and used for family development.

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