Survivors Fund (SURF) is currently supporting the work of nine local partner organisations in Rwanda, all of which are focused on rebuilding the lives of survivors of the genocide.
Our newest partner is Kanyarwanda, our only partner organisation that was established prior to the genocide. It was constituted in 1991 as an independent non-profit non-governmental organisation, to promote and defend human rights and equality, and to fight injustice. Due to this fact, it was the first local NGO in Rwanda to demand a full international investigation of the Genocide.
Today, it campaigns for human rights and the rule of law, and delivers counselling, health and education, legal assistance and business development assistance to survivors and their relatives.
Survivors Fund (SURF) began working with Kanyarwanda in 2009 as a partner on our Foundation Rwanda programme, to support children born of rape through school. Currently we support 174 such children in primary school, and 263 children in secondary school.
We are currently developing a concurrent programme of psychosocial support for the children’s mothers. Many of them have expressed difficulty disclosing to their children that they were raped during the genocide because it is traditionally shameful for the victim. Although some mothers have disclosed, many have not and have reported strained relationships with their children who persistently ask about their fathers. The mothers’ unwillingness to disclose and the children’s uncertainty about their parentage creates psychological problems for both. The pilot programme with Kanyarwanda will determine how we can provide greater support to the mothers who wish to undertake this disclosure to their children.
We will ensure to report back further on this work in due course. But to learn more about the current projects of Kanyarwanda, and plans for their work ahead, then please do read their Annual Report.