Today marked the finale of Project Umubano, with two sessions as the culmination of our community and business projects.

In the morning, an array of SURF’s partner organisations pitched their projects to mark the 20th anniversary of the genocide to a panel of dignitaries, which included Andrew Jones MP (MP for Harrogate & Knaresborough) and Mike Hammond (Head of DFID Rwanda).

Each team had 10 minutes to pitch their project, and then had to field 10 minutes of questions. The projects were of uniformly high standard and it was a difficult decision for the judges, but there were two winning proposals, each of which will received funding of £2,500.

Andrew Jones MP announces the result

The proposal of AVEGA presented an idea for commemoration pins. These will be handmade by genocide widows in membership of the organisation (generating revenue for them) and then sold nationwide by their volunteers and professional staff. This concept, based on the Royal British Legion’s Remembrance Poppy Appeal in the UK, was considered by the panel to have huge potential, as well as the possibility to become an annual initiative.

The proposal of Kanyarwanda focused on developing a national debate to generate awareness and support for children born of rape. The project will invite decision-makers, policy-makers, and prospective donors, to a panel discussion, with the aim of soliciting endorsement for a change in the approach of the government to prioritise support to ensure that children born of rape have access to a secondary school education, which otherwise they may not be in a position to afford.

The other proposals pitched, which were highly commended, were:

  • A documentary film on the situation of women survivors who have children born of rape by Hope Foundation Rwanda, and Best Hope Foundation
  • A door-to-door proactive trauma counselling initiative for survivors in Kayenza, developed by Barakabaho Foundation and the Council of Churches
  • A drama to raise awareness of the situation of student survivors of the genocide and their right to reparation developed by AERG and GAERG

We hope over the months ahead to help these partners to develop further their proposals and to secure the funding to realise their projects.

In the afternoon, a second delegation of Project Umubano heard pitches from an array of members of AERG for funding for their business ideas, as the finale of the Youth Entrepreneurship Programme. At the time of writing, a decision was pending.

We will ensure to keep you posted as to how that progresses.

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