Survivors Fund (SURF) Summer 2018 Newsletter
As we near the end of summer, we share with you an update of our work in Rwanda over the past couple of months. Thank you to all our donors, both individuals as well as institutions, that continue to support us to make this continuing work possible.
Chief Executive, Survivors Fund (SURF)
Over 7 million of the population in Rwanda (nearly 59%) still do not have access to electricity (USAid, 2018). This month, with support from the Good Gifts Catalogue, we distributed 55 solar lights to 55 women members of AVEGA Agahozo in Kabagali, Southern Rwanda. The solar lights not only provide light, but also provide the option of charging mobile phones, and thus make possible communication too.
As Eugenie, above, comments: “It is not easy to light a house on a daily basis using kerosene or candles because they are both very expensive. I am happy for the light because my family’s health will no longer be at risk from using kerosene and the children can comfortably do their homework. Thank you.”
You too can support survivors like Eugenie with a gift of a solar lamp from Good Gifts.
Women Genocide Survivors Retreat
Acceptance and sharing experience creates more positive attitudes among women victims of genocide rape. To support the women deal with stigma and mental health issues associated with their experience, we organised a retreat for 40 women to help them to deal with the issues related to stigmatisation, improving acceptance, and addressing the mental health needs of mothers and their children, now youth.
Assisting sexual violence survivors with their psychological trauma, mitigating stigma, and facilitating acceptance all represent important opportunities to positively influence parenting, and to thereby improve the lives and well-being of women genocide survivors.
Retreat for Youth Born of Genocide Rape
Youth born of rape face great challenges related to trauma and social stigma. They are described as carriers of deviant genes, and are often marginalised in their families and communities. In instances occurring during wartime, many societies have adopted hateful labels such as “children of shame” or “children of bad memory”.
Many mothers are starting to speak out against the negative perceptions and stigma associated with children of rape and disclosing to their children the circumstances leading to their birth. Many mothers attest that after disclosure the children now youth, need psychological support.
The youth retreat brought together 30 youth to receive group counselling, reproductive health training and career guidance, in order to offer vital support and assistance otherwise unavailable to them.
We were fortunate to have SURF trustee, Neill Quinton, and SURF supporter, Peter Gray, raise funds for us by running the London Marathon in April. In October, SURF supporter, William Maisey will be raising money for SURF by running the Bournemouth Marathon. You can support him by donating to his VirginMoneyGiving fundraising page. And if you are interested in running a marathon, or taking part in any sponsored event, please do consider supporting SURF in doing so – it is as easy as setting up your own fundraising page!
Thank you to all those that have donated to support our work. Just a reminder that it is easier than ever to now donate through our new improved donation page, which now enables donations to be made through PayPal.
Finally, just a reminder that you can keep up-to-date on all important developments on survivors and Survivors Fund (SURF) through our news portal, as well as through our facebook page and twitter.