The Bralirwa family gets together
Bralirwa breweries last Saturday held its annual family get-together, during which employees were rewarded according to experience. Given that it was World Aids day, the company also used the occasion to sensitize its staff on the disease.
The Aids sensitization focused on the need for parents to educate their children about sex and the effects of HIV/Aids, in line with the current campaign “A tree is tended to when it’s young” of the centre for the fight against Aids (CNLS).
According to the company’s chief doctor, Jean Pierre Kabarega, it is necessary to educate children about HIV/Aids as they are the future. He further reminded the Bralirwa family about the kuba principle, which signifies abstinence, faithfulness and the use of a condom.
“Our company’s employees should not shy away from informing and protecting their children against the HIV/Aids scourge,” the doctor said.
Bralirwa is one of the first companies to introduce the system of paying for the medical care for its HIV/Aids affected employees.
“Even if they can’t work anymore, the company continues to pay for medication, for the employee as well as for any affected family member,” Dr. said.
As is the tradition, the brewery also used the day to reward some of its more experienced employees. According to the company’s criterion it rewards employees with experience from 10 years 15, 20 and 25 and 30 years of experience.
The company awarded 34 employees, of whom 24 had 10 years experience, 4 had worked for 15 years at Bralirwa, 2 had 20 years of experience and 4 celebrated their silver jubilee (25 years).
Laurent Bahizi, who has worked 25 years at the brewery, appreciated that Bralirwa recognizes the commitment and good services of its employees. He said that he started at Bralirwa on the May 16, 1980, and that all the time he has been the sales manager of the Southern and Eastern areas of the country.
“It is important that we continue to be credible in the promotion of the company, so as to contribute to Rwanda’s economy and development,” Laurent Bahizi said. He further urged other employees to keep on doing their best for the company, as they gradually gain such experience as he has.
François Nkurinkiyinka, an employee of 10 years, was grateful to the management of Bralirwa for organizing the ceremony of recognition of its workers, which was applied without discrimination. He further encouraged fellow employees to work with resilience and to love their job.
The employees’ representative, Joseph Mihigo, also thanked the management of Bralirwa for recognizing the commitment of its most experienced employees in bringing the company to new heights. He asked other employees to follow the example of those that were rewarded, so as to reach the same level of experience.
“We should work hard for the company to remain an engine of development, so that its employees, families, as well as all citizens and the country in general, may benefit from our work,” Joseph Mihigo said.
The managing director of Bralirwa, Door Plantenga, lauded the rewarded employees for their year-long dedication to the company. She also pointed out that some of the company’s staff have even worked for the company for more than 35 years.
“The fact that we are today rewarding these 34 employees, shows tat the company can retain its people,” she said.
Plantenga added that the company promotes a healthy business environment for healthy employees, but she expressed concern for 15% of Bralirwa’s employees who have not yet been tested for HIV/Aids, arguing that it would be in the interest of their families to know their status.
The managing director remarked that 2007 has been a great year for the company. “We expect to have good financial results, despite the fact that we have had to increase the prices of the beer and soft drinks at the beginning of the year,” Door Plantenga said.
She highlighted this year’s achievements, which include the re-branding of Primus with its new blue label and cap, and the introduction of the small bottle. “The branding of Primus has been a success; at this moment, Primus has a 45% market share,” she said.
She also mentioned the re-branding of Mutzig and the celebration of the beer’s 20 years on the market. She further referred to the ongoing promotion campaign where people can win Frw 12,000,000 worth of school fees.
She concluded by saying that the management of Bralirwa had committed itself to the improvement and efficiency of its plants both in Gisenyi and Kigali. “Our code of conduct, improvement of housing and other allowances, and the check on our alcohol standards, has led the Kigali plant to be among the first in Africa,” Door Plantenga said.