Both inspired by, and in response to the Ice Bucket Challenge, we have decided to launch our own challenge – #RwandaChallenge – to try raise £250,000 to fund the education of 735 young people in Rwanda through 25,000 donations of £10 from UK donors.

For that we need your help. There is no ice bucket involved, just a simple three-step challenge:
1. Donate £10 now by texting SURF33 £10 to 70070
2. Challenge three UK-based friends to immediately donate as well
3. And to ask each of them to forward on the request to three additional friends

We are sending this challenge out to 10 of friends of SURF. If they donate, and challenge three of their friends to donate as well, and in turn they do so too, then by only the seventh stage of the chain we will have reached our target.

What will then mean? It will enable the partner organisation of Survivors Fund (SURF), Foundation Rwanda to accomplish its mission to empower through education 735 of the most vulnerable and marginalised young people in Rwanda, all of whom were born to women survivors raped during the genocide in Rwanda in 1994 and who have endured great exclusion as a result.

It was for this purpose that Foundation Rwanda was established in 2008 by Newsweek photojournalist Jonathan Torgovnik, and Jules Shell, to support these young people to realise their potential through completing their education. You can learn more about the story of the organisation through this short film:

If the funding is secured, then Foundation Rwanda can begin the process of winding down. There are few charities that close their doors at the point that their job is done. Your donation will make that possible.

If you are able to help, and would like to join the challenge as well, then please text SURF33 £10 to 70070 in the UK to make your donation (further details as below). And forward on this message to three of your friends to request them to do the same on facebook, or through twitter (a suggested tweet as below):

I texted SURF33 £10 to 70070 to fund #RwandaChallenge. [@friend x3] please join me. More at: http://goo.gl/UeZHvx 

If you are unable to donate by SMS in the UK, or would like to donate more, then you can do so in the UK through VirginMoneyGiving or in the USA through CAFAmerica.

Even if the #RwandaChallenge fails, we will at least have made a significant contribution in enabling Foundation Rwanda realise its mission. And prove that it does not take ice buckets to inspire acts of generosity. For that I thank you.


* On making the SMS donation, you will be asked whether you “accept the charges”. Please click yes, as this will add on the £10 donation to the standard charge your operator charges for sending an SMS message. You will receive a reply message after around 5 minutes asking whether your donation is eligible for Gift Aid. Please reply YES if so, and we will receive an additional £2.50 on your donation.

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