SURF Chair honoured with an MBE

Sam Hunt, Chair of Survivors Fund (SURF) with residents of Ntarama Survivor's Village
Sam Hunt, Chair of Survivors Fund (SURF) with residents of Ntarama Survivor's Village

We are delighted to announce that Samantha Hunt, Chair of Survivors Fund (SURF), has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s Birthday 2020 Honours List. An MBE is given for an outstanding achievement or service to the community, which will have a long-term, significant impact and stand out as an example to others.

Sam exemplifies those qualities.

As a former winner of the Secondary School Teacher of the Year Award and the Anne Frank Award for Inspirational Educator of the Year, plus recognition as a Sue Ryder Woman of Achievement and the Pride of Bracknell awards, Sam has dedicated her career to inspiring pupils at Sandhurst School to become proactive citizens who make a positive contribution to the world.

She has led her school to achieve the Quality Mark in Holocaust and Genocide education, her work being described as “European-Leading”. As the Chair of Survivors Fund (SURF), academic advisor to Remembering Srebrenica and volunteer for the Holocaust Educational Trust, she has played an important role in educating young people about the worst atrocities in human history, whilst compelling her students to “Be the change they want to see in the world.”

Sam has spearheaded a ground-breaking active citizenship programme called Reaching Rwanda at Sandhurst School, facilitating deep friendships between her students and children in Rwanda. To date, with the support of Survivors Fund (SURF) she has:

  • Renovated an entire village, providing homes for genocide survivors in Rwanda
  • Built 2 water pumps, providing water to two survivor villages
  • Paid for the education of nearly 40 impoverished children in Rwanda
  • Financed 40 small businesses, providing a regular income for over 100 genocide survivors
  • Provided farm animal to improve the diets of over 30 families
  • Delivered tonnes of vital equipment to 3 schools and 3 projects for street children in Rwanda

She is currently building a children’s centre to provide education to hundreds of Rwandan children.

Sam’s students told the Quality Mark assessor :

  • ‘She shows us what hate, and violence is, and she makes us consider another way to engage with other human beings and to see the world through love and compassion.’
  • ‘She stands up and is counted in her teaching…Teaching people like me is her being an upstander… she models the change she’d like to see to us in our lessons and then it’s up to us to respond.’
  • ‘Being in her class can be quite emotional, as she throws herself totally in it…she really wants us to know and understand and to care, and we do, because we go on that journey with her… we’re just really lucky… we know we have a great teacher.’
  • ‘She’s taught me what being selfless is…’
  • ‘100% there for everyone… no matter how busy she is, and she is always busy… she makes you feel like she has the time for you, she makes that time… she’s given me time and support when I have had problems, even when’s she’s running around like a headless chicken, which I don’t know how she manages with those heels on but, seriously…she is such a source of support and sanctuary and a real inspiration…’

She is a deserved recipient of the MBE.

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