Update on SURF’s Founder

3 Jul 2009

Mary Kayitesi-Blewitt, SURF’ Founder, has not been resting since I succeeded her as director in January 2009.

Appointed as a Visiting Fellow at the Research Centre for Leadership in Action at the Robert F. Wagner School for Public Service at New York University, she has been progressing her research into trauma in young survivors of the Rwandan genocide, a report of which has recently been published. The research is ongoing and will feed into SURF’s development of mental health interventions to provide greater support to survivors of the genocide in Rwanda. It will have particular relevance to our work with women survivors who have been subject to gender-based violence, a matter which Eaves highlights in its most recent newsletter below.

Update on SURF's Founder

Mary is also launching a new initiative, banking clothes and shoes. Both have incredible value in Rwanda, not only for survivors that cannot afford to buy their own but also for resale to enable survivors to generate income. Suits can be used to “dress for success” for young survivors to access for job interviews to secure jobs. Thus, clothes and shoes can be banked for money as well as employment opportunities.

If you have any clothes or shoes, new or second-hand, please do let Mary know at mkb@survivors-fund.org.uk and she will arrange collection. As well, if there is anyone who can make available some storage space, it would be massively appreciated too.