As a prelude to the publication of our Annual Review 2022/23, we feature from it a message from the Chair of Survivors Fund (SURF), Sam Hunt MBE:
This has been a momentous year for Survivors Fund (SURF). Celebrating SURF’s 25th anniversary has given us the opportunity to reflect upon the many, many achievements of the organisation since its founding by the inspirational Mary Kayitesi Blewitt OBE, but also to re-assess the myriad of challenges facing survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda both now and in the future.
None of what SURF has achieved in the last 25 years would have been possible without the ongoing support of SURF’s many donors and benefactors. Your generosity, advocacy and belief in our cause have been integral to SURF’s success. Many, many lives have been transformed because of you. You have shown those who have felt so abandoned by the world, that there are people who do care deeply. You have given survivors the greatest gift -that of hope and for this we are eternally grateful.
I would also like to recognize the enormous contribution made by our trustees, both past and present. You have freely given of your time, effort and skill to ensure that, through robust governance, SURF has withstood the test of time and gone from strength to strength. Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to ensure SURF continues to flourish.
And now to the wonderful staff of SURF, both past and present. The dedication and commitment shown by all of SURF’s staff, day in day out, often in such trying and challenging circumstances, is truly inspirational. SURF is nothing without you and we are truly privileged to work with you. Watching you work so tirelessly to transform the lives of so many people who have suffered so much is truly humbling. The true impact of your work will perhaps never be known, but it is immeasurable.
Working collectively, donors, trustees and staff have made SURF what it is. As individuals we cannot change the entire world, but we can certainly change the entire world of other individuals. And this is what you have done for countless individuals in Rwanda. I thank you from the bottom of my heart!
We honour the memory of the innocent souls who perished in the genocide and acknowledging the bravery of those who survived. Their courage, their resilience, their dignity and will to survive and to strive for a country where this never happens again, is an inspiration to us all. The survivors show us the very best of what it means to be human. We honour and salute you. And we at SURF vow to never forget them.
Sam Hunt MBE, Chair