10 Feb 2010
In the time between developing a new project, and its completion, a lot can change.
SURF is fortunate to have donors that recognise the importance of adapting our work, and accordingly their funding, to ensure that we most effectively meet the needs of the community that we are constituted to serve.
This has been the case in Ntarama, for a project that has been supported by a coalition of funders, including Network 4 Africa, INSPIRE!africa, Jubilee Action, The Funding Network and the Bliss Foundation.
The original proposal was conceived as a school, but following a needs assessment of the community it was determined that there was a more pressing need for a health and community centre for survivors.
Following the completion of the health clinic, and its opening, there has been such an overwhelming demand for its services that it is now open through the night, as well as during the day, through a rotation system of the dedicated staff. To enable this, one of the adjoining houses has been converted into a dormitory for nurses on the night-shift.
Local demand for healthcare services also impacted on the use of building originally constructed as a community centre. The clinic does not have the capacity to offer patients in need a bed, particularly women requiring maternity facilities, and as such we are now converting the community centre into a patient’s ward.
In order to find a home for the programmes which we intended to run at the community centre, we are in discussion with Miracle Corners of the World (MCW). In a project inspired by Jacqueline Murekatete, a survivor now based in the US, a new vocational school is nearing completion just down the road from our former community centre. We will support their work to give access to the facilities and teaching for survivors that we intended to serve in the school that the project originally conceived.
As the project now nears completion, we are grateful to our funders for their flexibility enabling facilities that better serve survivors.
For me, it is a lesson learned; that priorities change and that our work is at its best when we can be so responsive. For that we have our donors to thank.