A week in Rwanda

8 Mar 2010

I have just returned from a visit to Rwanda, on which I reported previously about our ongoing discussions with our partners on the priorities for our work ahead.

The past week has been a busy one, and presents a good insight into some of the opportunities of, and challenges for, that work.

My visit here coincided with the visit of Foundation Rwanda, which we are working with to now scale up a programme of education support to children born of women survivors raped during the genocide, as well as a programme of psychosocial and economic support to the women survivors themselves.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BbcSwKuu4Mo[/youtube]

Through a remarkable fundraising effort, Foundation Rwanda is already supporting 200 of the children through school, and we hope that this number will increase to 350 children by the end of the year. SURF is monitoring and evaluating the programme, with the support to the children and their mothers delivered by our partners, including AVEGA Agahozo, Solace Ministries and IBUKA.

Many of the women, as well as the children, are HIV+ and thus are also beneficiaries on the Care and Treatment Project, funding for which comes to an end this month. In meetings with The Global Fund, DFID and MINISANTE (Rwandan Ministry of Health) we have been assessing what further support is required to sustain the success of that project. SURF has developed with Solace Ministries and AVEGA Agahozo a proposal we submitted this week to Comic Relief for funding to ensure the successful integration of HIV+ women survivors into the public health system.

We are now working with the partners on a proposal to DFID to request a final grant to continue to extend the income-generating activities started through CTP. Which is an activity that Foundation Rwanda hopes to support too for women survivors with children born of rape.

Though it has been a busy week, it has been a productive one. However, how successful it will have been, will be determined by the success of the proposals, of which I will be certain to keep you posted!