As a prelude to the publication of our Annual Report 2019/20, we feature from it a message from the Chief Executive of Survivors Fund (SURF), Samuel Munderere:
The past year has once again seen Survivors Fund (SURF) grow steadily, and in so doing enable us to positively impact the lives of more survivors in need across Rwanda. We have expanded our economic empowerment projects to the Western Province of Rwanda, specifically the districts of Nyamasheke, Rusizi, Rutsiro and Karongi. We have continued similar work in other parts of the country providing entrepreneurship loans to widows and youth survivors through the loan guarantee fund scheme ensuring access to finance for those who have good business plans.
Thanks to the generous support of our donors and partners, we have continuously worked with communities to address the mental health challenges of survivors through training mental health nurses at medical centres, mobilising networks of peer support counsellors and providing group and individual counselling. We are also addressing legal and counselling needs through the free helpline which we support with our partner AERG. The helpline has played a significant role in addressing land and property issues challenging youth survivors across the country.
Through the support of the Good Gifts Catalogue, we have been able to provide a wide range of assistance to survivors across the country to enable them to develop their livelihoods. Despite this success we are seeing that as the genocide becomes more distant, fundraising for genocide survivors becomes more difficult with the competing focus on new disasters and wars across the world that need addressing, and at this time of writing the pressing priorities emerging out of the COVID-19 crisis.
However, the survivors we work with continue to be deeply involved in their own development ensuring the sustainability of our work and their empowerment.
We could not achieve any of this without our supporters and partners. Strong partnerships are key to delivering on the commitments in our strategy. I am so thankful for the dedicated colleagues who work so hard to deliver our work. The success of our programmes and our positive impact is due to their passion.
Looking forward, we will continue to deliver on our current strategy ensuring that the dignity and rights of survivors are elevated to cope better with the challenges of the future and maintain our commitment to our core values. As you read this year’s annual review, I hope you are inspired to join us in continuing to make strides towards empowering survivors of the genocide against the Tutsi.