Association des Etudiants et Elèves Rescapés Du Genocide (AERG) is helping student survivors of the Rwandan Genocide with support from Survivors Fund (SURF).
AERG was created in 1996, at the National University of Rwanda, by and for student genocide survivors; many working on a voluntary basis. Originally founded as a support group for genocide orphans studying at secondary and higher institutions, its role has now expanded to also advocate for the ongoing needs of young survivors; supporting their education and empowering them economically through life.
Currently, AERG is represented nationally at 27 universities and institutes of higher learning, and 300 secondary schools in Rwanda; with a total country-wide membership of 43,397. Current highlights of the organisation include:
- Through advocacy by AERG, this year FARG (Government Assistance Fund for Survivors) is providing 500 educational scholarships to AERG members.
- AERG is currently taking care of 125 girls from secondary schools and universities, in a family project, named Umumararaungu.
- This year, through advocacy, AERG has secured funds directly from IMBUTO Foundation and FARG to pay for all fundamental needs.
- Through the One Dollar Campaign, AERG has secured over £1 million to construct a hostel for homeless students. The first phase of the project is due to open in December 2011 to provide accommodation for nearly 200 students.
- AERG has also trained 150 counsellors, in 26 branches of AERG, in high learning institution and universities.
- The Education into Employment programme is continuing to grow and provide opportunities for AERG members to secure a job on graduation from university.
- AERG has opened a new goat farm in Nyagatare, which is set to generate revenue for the organisation in 2012.
- This month AERG is opening a new English language school, Kigali Language Exchange, which will raise additional revenue for the organsiation.