Successes and Challenges

Successes

  • Secured a new grant of £523,486 from Comic Relief for a new two year programme to support HIV+ women survivors in membership of AVEGA and Solace Ministries;
  • Secured a new three-year grant of £240,000 from the Sigrid Rausing Trust to extend our support to women survivors affected by gender-based violence with AVEGA and IBUKA;
  • Established the Education into Employment programme in partnership with AERG to support young survivors at university to secure employment on graduation, which includes Rwanda’s first national mentoring programme and career development newsletter;
  • The formal launch of the SURF Fellowship recognising the 61 young survivors that SURF has supported who have graduated from university and the 84 young survivors who SURF is currently supporting through university, made possible largely by the Good Gifts Catalogue;
  • The launch of a new project to introduce donkeys to Rwanda and an accompanying training programme for women survivors, funded by the Good Gifts Catalogue;
  • Developed the AVEGA health centre at Ntarama as a model of best practice and extending its facilities with funding from Inspire!africa and Network 4 Africa;
  • Extended the Foundation Rwanda programme to deliver wraparound support to 500 children born of rape to women survivors through school;
  • Launched in partnership with Indego Africa and Foundation Rwanda a new income-generating activity for women survivors, now established as the Abasangiye Cooperative, through new funding from the Alan and Babette Sainsbury Charitable Trust;
  • Organised the logistics in Rwanda for Project Umubano, the two-week international social action programme for 70 UK Conservative Party members, and coordinated a ten-person team to develop and deliver a capacity building workshop for all our partner organisations;
  • Supported and advised on commemoration events to mark the anniversary of the genocide in London, Birmingham, Newcastle and Liverpool with funding from Awards for All;
  • Developed and delivered a new Oral History project, training and equipping students from UK schools to film interviews with UK-based survivors, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme;
  • Increased our annual income by 25% in such a challenging financial climate.

Challenges

  • Many widows of the genocide are now ageing, and as many lost their entire families in the genocide, they have no support. The burden on AVEGA, in which many of the widows have membership, is growing each year as the organisation is already operating at capacity. It vitally requires further funding to extend its reach – particularly in the Southern and Northern Regions of Rwanda where it currently does not have offices;
  • The number of young survivors with no access to tertiary education (university or vocational training) continues to increase each year, as the funding available for scholarships from FARG is limited and the cost of tuition rises. Last year only 1,600 of the 11,500 young survivors that applied for support received funding, and the chance of employment for them is slim in an increasingly competitive employment market;
  • We have yet to reach an agreement on the future use of the centre in Kamonyi, which was originally constructed as a research and documentation centre. The building was used as the SURF office until June 2010, when we moved the office back to Kigali in order to save on transport costs. Our priority for the year ahead is to ensure that the building is operational.