Continuing our series of articles from our Annual Report 2021/22, we outline here our work on our Good Gifts Initiative.
Through funding from the Good Gifts Catalogue, an initiative of the Charities Advisory Trust, we have extended our support to thousands of widows and orphans that are beneficiaries of our ongoing livelihoods program, enabling them to become more independent and self-sufficient.
Survivors Fund (SURF) aims to alleviate the impact of poverty on vulnerable survivors by strengthening their families to secure viable livelihoods. The funding from Good Gifts helps to set up income generating projects which empower communities to fight poverty and take more active role in determining their lives.
Many survivors have been supported, receiving livestock, agricultural materials, solar lights and cookers, meals for schoolchildren and much more. The support from Good Gifts has played a significant role in enabling us to empower vulnerable survivors and their dependents. The livelihoods programme has helped beneficiaries to improve their lives. For example, those that have received solar lights and clean cookstoves are making savings for their households as they are no longer spending on kerosene, as well as saving time used to collect firewood. For that support they, and we, are greatly appreciative.
For the first time this year, with the support of the Charities Advisory Trust, we set up the Good Gifts Mobile Library, which is helping young children from both primary and secondary school to improve their reading skills while giving them access to reading materials. There is a problem of insufficient books in many schools around the country, and the Good Gifts Mobile Library is helping to bridge this gap. We have initially stocked the Mobile Library with 300 new children’s books in English and Kinyarwanda.
The electric trike bike takes the books to schools that students can borrow and read for free with the guidance of a facilitator (librarian). It visits each school every two weeks, for books to be returned and new books to be taken out on loan. We are currently collaborating with primary schools in the Gasabo District of Kigali City. The expectation is to reach 600 students in the first 6 months of the project, with the hope that they can acquire the knowledge and skills that enhances their reading habits, academic success and beyond. Then the Good Gifts Mobile Library will move on to other schools in different areas.
Through the support of Good Gifts, Survivors Fund (SURF) recently provided 50 solar lights to families living in remote areas in Rutsiro District in the Western Province of Rwanda. Mukamana is a genocide survivor living in Rutsiro District and is among the beneficiaries who received solar lights.
“I am happy to receive this solar light which will give me light and charge my mobile telephone. It is going to help my family a lot. I have children who are attending school and most of the evenings it was very challenging for them to do their school homework due to lack of light. We used to buy paraffin for lighting, but it is very expensive and generates a lot of smoke. Now we do not need to do so, which is saving us money, and is giving us better and healthier light for longer.”