How SURF is run

How SURF is run Survivors Fund (SURF) is a charitable company, registered in England and Wales with both the Charity Commission (1065705) and Companies House (04311565).

This structure, which is used by many charities, allows us to have all the advantages of charitable status, and simultaneously to limit the trustees’ liability through the company’s ‘limited’ status. As a charity and a company limited by guarantee, Survivors Fund (SURF) has no share capital and therefore cannot be owned by anyone.

The charity is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association, dated 30 July 1997.

SURF is headed by a Board of Trustees. For company-law purposes, the trustees are also the directors of Survivors Fund (SURF) Ltd.

Day-to-day management of the organisation is undertaken by the Chief Executive in the UK.


The Board of Trustees has authority over and responsibility for the organisation and acts as its legal guarantors. The effective involvement of the Board of Trustees is considered crucial to the success of SURF and is dependent on shared goals, the development of sound and creative working practices and significant time commitments.

The Board meets at least five times a year, to assess the charity’s progress since the previous meeting, and to set milestones to be achieved by the next meeting. The Chief Executive attends each Board meeting and provides an update to the Trustees on the charity’s progress, and to assist in the setting of goals. Trustees also provide valuable assistance to the Chief Executive and other members of staff when necessary.


Trustees are elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) by the members of Survivors Fund (SURF). The members include all the trustees, and a small number of other supporters of our work. In between AGMs, Trustees may be appointed temporarily by the general agreement of the existing trustees. However, any such appointments are only valid until the next AGM.

After appointment, trustees are presented with a copy of our most recent annual report, the charity’s governing documents, and the minutes of the two most recent Board meetings. They are also asked to study the principles of the Charity Commission’s Essential Trustee booklet, and are invited to meet with the Chief Executive and either or both of the Co-Chairs to discuss the charity’s position and operation.

At every AGM, one-third of the Board of Trustees is required to resign, though they can then be re-elected. At the 2011 AGM, held on 15th October, David Lumley (our treasurer) retired.


Nine of the eleven trustees served the entire year. They are:

Liliane Umubyeyi (Co-Chair) – Liliane has been a trustee of SURF since 2004. She is a survivor of the genocide, and moved to the UK in 2000. For her work with SURF, Liliane won the Ultimate Woman of the Year Award for Best Campaigner from Cosmopolitan Magazine in 2007, the year she was elected Co-Chair.

Nick Joseph (Co-Chair) – Nick has been a trustee of SURF since 2007, and Co-Chair since 2009. Nick is the former interim Chief Executive of the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust and is a civil servant, currently at the National Offender Management Service, an agency of the Ministry of Justice, specialising in mental health issues.

Jeff Hunt (Company Secretary) – Jeff has been a trustee since 2009. He is a consultant for Hewlett Packard, and brings to SURF an expertise in information and communications technology.

Lola Gostelow – Lola was a founding trustee of SURF in 1997. She is an independent humanitarian policy advisor, formerly based at Save the Children UK, with an expertise in quality and accountability.

Jeanette Kagabo – Jeanette has been a trustee since 2004. She is a survivor of the genocide, and moved to the UK in 2002. She is an advocate for the cause of survivors, speaking at an array of national and regional events since 2003.

Neill Quinton – Neill was a founding trustee of SURF in 1997. He is Performing Arts Education Officer at the Royal Festival Hall, and has an expertise in grant-writing, formerly working for Amnesty International.

Mark Pallis – Mark has been a trustee since 2009. He is a barrister and formerly the Coordinator of the All Party Parliamentary Group on the Great Lakes Region and Genocide Prevention.

Sam Hunt – Sam has been a trustee since 2009. She is Assistant Headteacher at Sandhurst Comprehensive. In 2008 she received the Anne Frank Award for her work educating young people about the Holocaust. She is a volunteer educator for the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Apollinaire Kageruka – Appolinaire was elected on to the Board in September 2010, and brings with him a wealth of experience working in the Rwandan community in the UK as Chair of the West Midlands – Rwanda Community Association. He is a survivor of the genocide.

Jean Louis Mazimpaka and David Lumley retired from the Board. We appointed three new trustees:

David Chaney – David owns and runs a full service public accounting practice, representing over 200 clients including a number of charities. He regularly visits Rwanda and has worked to strengthen the financial management of SURF partners. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Andrew Lees (Treasurer) – Andrew is a Chartered Accountant currently contracted to the Ministry of Justice working in Corporate Finance. He formerly worked in the City and has an interest in Africa, as he was born and brought up in South Africa.

Sue Enfield – Sue has worked in Africa for over 15 years and has an expertise in participatory impact assessment and programme review, undertaking recent work for DFID and SIDA. Sue undertook the evaluation of SURF’s first project funded by Comic Relief in 1999.


The Trustees delegate day-to-day responsibility for the running of the charity to the Chief Executive. The Chief Executive has a strong working relationship with the trustees, and is in regular contact with them concerning the running of the charity.

David Russell – David has been Chief Executive of Survivors Fund (SURF) since January 2009. David succeeded SURF’s Founder Mary Kayitesi Blewitt OBE, with whom he had worked as consultant since 2004. He was formerly Co- Founder and Director of The PR Office, and is the Founder and Director of The Social Enterprise.

He is an NYU Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship, with an MPA from New York University, and an MA from Cambridge University. He is Company Secretary of the SPID Theatre Company.


Our work is helped by the contribution of a number of individual volunteers, which constitute the SURF Projects Team. Their work is vital in extending the reach of SURF. The contributions of Katherine Goldsmith and Matthew Betts in particular, as well as Oyinda Bamgbose who undertook a one-week work experience placement at the UK office, have been invaluable over the year.

This year we facilitated three in-country internships, and we are dearly grateful for the valuable contribution to the work of SURF Rwanda of three students: Iona Roy (Monash University), Mia Newman (Stanford University) and Léa Steinacker (Princeton University). We are particularly thankful as well to David Chaney, who joined our Board this year and travels to Rwanda to build the capacity of our partner organisations as well as student survivors through the use of QuickBooks.

Special acknowledgment is made to the contribution of Kathy Shanklin, Rebecca Tinsley, Andy Lawrence, Sam Hunt, and Joy Childs who all work tirelessly to help SURF raise funds in particular through schools and community groups in their area. We acknowledge as well, the contribution of our Accountant, Benon Banya, who has volunteered to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2012 to raise funding for SURF – above and beyond the call of duty! We are grateful as well to the guidance and advice of our Advisory Board in Rwanda: Raphael Rurangwa, Josephine Uwamariya, Aimable Twahirwa and Jean-Marie Byakweli.

And, finally, thank you to all the team from Project Umubano from the UK Conservative Party who committed two weeks of their summer holiday to work on a two week practicum with Survivors Fund (SURF). Tragically, Christopher Shale, who has led the team over the past five years passed away in June, but the legacy of his contribution will survive for years through the projects that he has inspired.


SURF is fortunate to have a number of partners that support our work and make it possible both in the UK and Rwanda.

In the UK our work is supported by an array of funders whose support is invaluable. In 2011 this included the Alan & Babette Sainsbury Charitable Trust, Charities Advisory Trust, Comic Relief, Foundation Rwanda, William Frederick Haines Foundation, Tinsley Foundation, Wokingham Vineyards Church, All Saints Fulham, INSPIRE!africa, Pears Charitable Foundation, Stanley Foundation, L.I.F.E. For Health, Sammy and Natalie Kattan and the Sigrid Rausing Trust, as well as an array of anonymous donors.

Our design and website is made possible through the support of lbdesign, and all photography and film is credited to Andrew Sutton of niceimages, whose personal dedication to the cause of survivors, as well as his partner Rachel Collingwood, is remarkable.

SURF has received guidance and advice from too numerous individuals to mention, but I would like in particular to acknowledge the non-monetary contribution of the following organisations to our work: UK Conservative Party, APPG for the Great Lakes, Miracle Corners of the World, Tools With A Mission, Computer Aid, Holocaust Educational Trust, Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, HelpAge International, Network 4 Africa, Health Poverty Action, Mukomeze, Indego Africa, Msaada, Redress, Medical Foundation. Apologies to those whom I have neglected  to mention.

SURF has worked with the following survivors’ organisations in Rwanda during 2011:

AVEGA Agahozo – Association of Widows of the Genocide | Solace Ministries – Christian Association of Survivors of the Genocide | Uyisenga N’manzi – Survivors’ Association of HIV+ Orphan-headed Households | IBUKA – National Umbrella of Survivors’ Organisations in Rwanda | AERG – Survivors’ Association of Students and Pupils | GAERG – Survivors’ Association of Graduated Students and Pupils | ASRG Mpore – Association of Survivors of the Rwandan Genocide | Duhozanye – Association of Genocide Widows in Butare | Dukundane Family – Association of Young Genocide Survivors | Kanyarwanda – Human Rights Organisation for Genocide Survivors | AOCM – Survivors’ Association of Orphan-headed Households

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