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
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 assists in the setting of goals. Trustees also provide valuable assistance to the Chief Executive and other members of staff when necessary.
TRUSTEE ELECTION, INDUCTION AND RE-ELECTIONS
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 2012 AGM, held on 22nd September, Lola Gostelow, resigned and did not stand for re-election.
Eleven of the twelve trustees served the entire year. They are:
Liliane Umubyeyi (Outgoing 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. She retired as Co-Chair at the 2012 AGM, after five years in post.
Nick Joseph (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.
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.
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.
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 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 Head Teacher 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 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.
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.
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.
Lola Gostelow retired from the Board. We appointed one new trustee:
Alex Sklan – Alex served as the Clinical Director of the Medical Foundation for Victims of Torture (now know as Freedom From Torture) for fifteen years until his retirement in 2012, and before that was instrumental in setting up the Holocaust Survivors Centre in London for Jewish Care.
Our work is helped by the contribution of a number of individual volunteers, who make up the SURF Projects Team. Their work is vital in extending the reach of SURF.
Special acknowledgment is made to the contribution of Kathy Shanklin, Rebecca Tinsley, Sam Hunt, and Joy Childs who all work tirelessly to help SURF raise funds in particular through schools and community groups in their area. As well, special thanks are extended to Noam Schimmel for his thought leadership on issues of reparation for survivors.
We acknowledge as well the support of a number of volunteers in Rwanda, in particular Portia Comenetia Allen, who has continued to support the development of the Kigali Language Exchange in particular, and the work of AERG in general.
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).
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, Big Lottery Fund, Charities Advisory Trust, Comic Relief, Foundation Rwanda, Imperial College, INSPIRE!africa, L.I.F.E. For Health, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Network for Africa, Pears Foundation, REDRESS, Sigrid Rausing Trust, Tinsley Foundation and the UK Department for International Development, as well as an array of anonymous donors.
SURF has received guidance and advice from individuals and organisations too numerous to mention, but I would like to acknowledge the contribution of them all.
SURF has worked with the following survivors’ organisations in Rwanda during 2012:
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 | Barakabaho Foundation – Organisation of Widows and Orphans of the Genocide