Dream Big

12 Oct 2012

A guest post from Jules Shell, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Foundation Rwanda, extracted from the Foundation Rwanda Annual Report 2011

Foundation Rwanda will officially turn five years old in July 2013.

Our organization was founded in response to one mother’s wish to provide education for her child born from rape during the genocide as the government refused to consider her child eligible for government sponsored education that all survivors have access to. Thanks to your support, Foundation Rwanda has gone far beyond that mother’s wish and now our program is thriving successfully with the aid of our local partners. This group of severely marginalized women and children now have an organization to turn to for help and you have helped to enrich the lives and futures of these children, bringing hope to their mothers.

So, where do we go from here? Clearly, our first priority is to ensure that we can fulfill the commitments we have made to the students that we already support. We have created reserves and are working to try to set up a scholarship fund to ensure that Foundation Rwanda will have the funds to permit all 824 children to complete their educations.

But, what about the others? There are an estimated 20,000 children born from rape during the genocide. Can we help them too? This is what we mean by “Dream Big” and in this sense our goal is simple: we would like to raise enough money to provide schooling through secondary education for this entire generation of Rwandan children born of rape by building a scholarship fund. Let us know if you have ideas about resources or partners to help us accomplish this ambitious goal. If you don’t dream big, it’s hard to achieve big goals! Help us to achieve this one.

Survivors Fund (SURF) partners with Foundation Rwanda to support women raped during the genocide to send their children who were born of rape following the 1994 genocide in Rwanda to secondary school, help link their mothers to psychological and medical support services and livelihood development opportunities, and create awareness about the consequences of genocide and sexual violence. Foundation Rwanda currently supports the education of 824 children in secondary school.