SURF’s support of UK Survivors

19 Jul 2009

SURF works to provide support to Rwandan genocide survivors in both the UK and Rwanda.

Since our establishment, SURF has always ensured that survivors are represented on our Board of Trustees. At present, we have three remarkable survivors that give voluntarily of their time to provide guidance and governance of our work. As well, all three undertake vital advocacay and awareness-raising work helping SURF to inform and educate more people about the genocide and the situation of survivors today. Whether speaking to schools, or at public commemorations marking the anniversary of the Rwandan genocide, this is a vital contribution to our work.

Jean Louis Mazimpaka, whose story was featured in The Guardian this weekend, is one of our trustees as well as the founder of the Hope Survivors Foundation (HSF), a UK-based organisation established to provide greater support to UK survivors. Liliane Umubyeyi is our Co-Chair, and was recognised for her work with an award of the Cosmopolitan Ultimate Woman of the Year. Jeannette Kagabo has represented SURF at a number of high-profile events, including the national event of Holocaust Memorial Day.

The challenge ahead for SURF, and our partner HSF, is to provide more systematic support to survivors in the UK through access to mental health and legal aid services in particular. To this end, SURF will be working to raise funding over the year ahead, to ensure that the estimated 2,000 Rwandan survivors in the UK receive the support that they still critically need.