Through funding from Foundation Rwanda, Survivors Fund (SURF) is currently addressing the education and counselling needs of young people conceived through rape during and under circumstances directly related to the 1994 genocide committed against Tutsi in Rwanda. The challenge for the affected mothers and children is that FARG, the government body that assists vulnerable survivors of the genocide, does not consider these young people eligible for support because they were born after genocide and thus are not by definition survivors. However, they are recognised to be a particularly vulnerable and marginalised population.
Foundation Rwanda and Survivors Fund (SURF) are currently addressing the most pressing issues affecting youth born of rape and their mothers namely educational and psychosocial support.
During 2016, 480 students received educational support to attend secondary school, a further 65 students received support to access vocational training, and trauma counselling was delivered to 100 youth.
Since the program started about 10 years ago, it has supported about 850 young people born of rape to attend school and vocational training. Most of the students live in very remote communities which make it difficult for them to attend school. It is for that reason that 8 students received bicycles this year, in addition to over 217 students who have received bicycles since the programme started, to help them get to school easily. This has improved their attendance and performance.