As a prelude to the publication of our Annual Report 2021/22, we feature from it a message from the Chief Executive of Survivors Fund (SURF), Samuel Munderere:
When the pandemic started two years, no one could predict the levels of adaptation, resiliency and collaboration that the genocide survivor’s organization would demonstrate. Together we have met head on the threats that COVID-19 has posed to the lives of survivors. COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on people in Rwanda but most significantly on the mental wellness and livelihoods of genocide survivors. With great effort we formed new partnerships to respond to the needs of all survivors, and in particular those most vulnerable and marginalized, such as older widows. Addressing the pandemic’s impact on survivors remained our priority.
In the past year we launched our Counselling Extension Response Project (CERP II), a collaboration with several of our local partner organisations. It has been made possible through funding from the Cornerstone programme of Clifford Chance and is providing vital access to phone-based counselling and supplementary support to vulnerable survivors of the genocide. Also, through new funding from Clifford Chance, we have launched this past year the Youth Economic Empowerment Project (YEEP), a three year partnership between Survivors Fund (SURF), AERG (National Student’s Association of Genocide Survivors) and GAERG (National Survivor’s Association of Graduate Students) to deliver entrepreneurship, work readiness and vocational training, and access to finance and learning resources. It aims to empower vulnerable youth – specifically young survivors who have dropped out of school and marginalised second-generation survivors – and enable them to develop secure livelihoods through employment and self-employment, and in so doing to generate a sustainable income.
As you read this annual review, I hope you feel inspired by the many great accomplishments that have been achieved in the face of adversity. Thank you to our dedicated donors, supporters and Board of trustees, as well as all of our team and partners in Rwanda who make possible this work.