Post from Rwanda

4 Nov 2009

SURF is currently undergoing an evaluation of its work by Comic Relief, our first and to date largest funder. The evaluation is assessing the impact of nine projects Comic Relief has funded since our partnership began in 1997.

The efforts of our founder, Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, and our coordinator, Gabo Wilson, have been critical in raising the funding from Comic Relief for projects that have included:

A one million pound house building programme providing shelter to 2,000 survivors

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-KGodCrqzE[/youtube]

The construction of 50 memorial sites providing a decent burial to 300,000 victims

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_JC6N0woay4[/youtube]

Awareness of SURF’s work has been helped greatly by Comic Relief films featuring Fergal Keane and Paul Bradley which appeared on Red Nose Day. Paul has continued his support as a Patron of SURF.

This year has been challenging for SURF, as for the first year since our establishment we received no new funding from Comic Relief, as it undertook a strategic review of its grant making. Despite the fact, we have been able to sustain and in some instances even extend our work here in Rwanda.

Visiting our new health clinic in Ntarama has been a special moment on this visit, as the project has been some years in planning.  Seeing the site of a village of new houses built with funding from the Isle of Man Government as well as two young supporters – Sammy and Natalie Kattan – is particularly exciting too. More on that in the next post.

As the New Year approaches we will soon be launching our annual appeal. Online donations are now even easier through Virgin Money Giving, so we hope that you will be willing to extend your support too.