Support previously available to genocide survivors in Rwanda through FARG
(Government Assistance Fund for Survivors) is beginning to be mainstreamed into the new National Social Protection Strategy that will prioritise survivors alongside a number of other vulnerable groups for such support – including housing, healthcare, and welfare support. It will be critical that survivors monitor and evaluate this transition, to ensure they can access the support available to them;
As the events of the genocide become more distant, the challenge to raise funds to support survivors becomes ever more difficult. The expectation is increasingly that the population has begun to overcome the immediate consequences of the events that they endured, such as the rehabilitation of housing and addressing trauma. However in many cases, the problems for survivors are growing as they now lack assistance that was previously available through funds such as FARG, and they deal with issues compounded by disability and age;
The greatest challenge for young survivors of the genocide, many of whom are orphans, is to secure sustainable employment to provide for themselves and their households. As FARG is unable to provide more scholarships to university, it has begun to offer support for vocational training. However the need for such training far outstrips FARG’s ability to provide access to it. This is a critical requirement in the ever increasingly competitive job market in Rwanda, especially since Rwanda’s entry into the East Africa Community in 2009;
For SURF, the greatest challenge is to meet the continuing need of survivors in Rwanda despite its own limited resources. The SURF office in Rwanda is critical to the work, coordinating projects and strengthening the capacity of our partner organisations. There is an emotional, psychological and physical strain on the staff of doing so – and a financial strain on the organisation, particularly in respect to increasing transport costs in Rwanda.