SURF was awarded last year a grant of CHF 89,250 by the Addax & Oryx Foundation to deliver, in partnership with AVEGA Agahozo, the Empowering Vulnerable Genocide Widows in Karongi District to Alleviate Extreme Poverty (EVKEP) Project.

The project was launched successfully in May 2019 and the overall objective of the project is to empower 400 vulnerable genocide widows and 1,200 of their dependents in 13 sectors of Karongi District by alleviating poverty, reducing vulnerability, and improving food security and sustainable energy use.

To illustrate the progress of the project, we are publishing several stores of beneficiaries, the first of which is that of Julianne*…

Julianne is a survivor who lost her husband and her home during the genocide. As a victim of rape, she gave birth to a son the following year.

She is now the president of a group of twenty-two widows. Each week they put in FRW 500 (£1) and have collectively amassed FRW 89,000 (£90) in savings.   

Thanks to the training received under the EVKEP project, the members of her group have become enthusiastic about income generating projects. Julianne has started her own small business making banana beer. Things are going well and she earns around FRW 10,000 (£10) a week from this. She is currently applying for a loan of FRW 300,000 (£300) to expand her business. The loan will be repaid in fortnightly instalments at a low interest rate.

Other members of her group are also planning to start businesses once the training is complete.

We are very happy for this support and training because we have realised that it is good to train us before giving us money. Most of us were not aware of how to use it in the proper way, but training helped us to understand the importance of using the money for the activities you have planned for.

Once Julianne’s business takes off, she hopes to renovate her house and make repairs so that it looks smarter.

* Name has been changed to protect identity

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