Survivors Fund (SURF) has announced the appointment of its first ever Rwanda-based Chief Executive, following the resignation of Françoise Lemagnen. “We are very pleased to welcome Samuel Munderere as our new Chief Executive. He is a popular choice and given his deep knowledge of Rwanda and of SURF’s work with vulnerable survivors, he will make an inspiring and strong leader in our important work ahead. We thank Françoise for her dedication to SURF and wish her well in her future endeavours” said Samantha Hunt, Chair of SURF.
She added; “SURF Board took the strategic decision to move the leadership of SURF from the UK to Rwanda, given the changes in the international funding environment towards greater in country activity. As a result, our office in Rwanda has been strengthened and we will see David Russell continue to coordinate our UK office and international activity”.
Sam Munderere will lead a dedicated and experienced team in Rwanda, with increased support on fundraising. SURF, as an international NGO, will continue to raise funds and advocate for survivors and the most vulnerable, in the UK and internationally from its London base. David Russell, former consultant and Director of SURF, will provide continued support ahead as SURF’s UK Coordinator. SURF has also strengthened its Board of Trustees with the appointment of three new Trustees two in the UK and one in the USA.
Sam Munderere is passionate about international development work and improving the lives of vulnerable people. He has a profound understanding the issues faced by women and children in Rwanda and extensive experience of programmes that seek to empower them and transform their lives. Sam has worked with Survivors Fund (SURF) Rwanda for the last 11 years and more recently as its Director of Operations and as a member of its Senior Management Team.
Prior to that he was a Programme Manager for SURF and Programme Manager for US NGO Foundation Rwanda. He is thus very familiar with the working environment of SURF, our donors, our programmes and our local and international NGO partners. He has particular experience in managing educational and counselling projects and has led a programme supporting 850 youth born of genocide rape. He has also coordinated SURF’s provision of counselling programmes for their mothers. In his career he has developed an array of livelihoods projects including ground-breaking initiatives to introduce solar lights, solar cookers, clean stove cookers, water purifiers and donkeys to Rwanda.
Samuel holds a Masters in International Development Management from the University of Westminster (London, UK) and a Bachelors degree in Social Worker and Social Administration from Bugema University (Kampala, Uganda).