A fund set up to support survivors of the Genocide; Survivors Fund (SURF) has spent approximately £ 15 million to support various projects that boost the livelihoods of those who survived the 1994 killings, The New Times reports.
Wilson Gabo, the National Coordinator of SURF, says that over the past five years, the fund has spent in excess of £4.5 on helping the survivors infected with HIV/AIDS.
“We have been trying to help survivors in various ways. We spend around £50,000 (Rfw 50 m) annually on education and about £0.5 million on capacity building among others,” he said
The Fund also spends £ 20,000 on children born as result of rape during the Genocide.
On the theme of this year’s Genocide commemoration week, Gabo said that trauma was a reality, adding that it was on the rise for various reasons.
“We look at trauma from different angles. For some survivors, trauma is boosted by failure to have shelter, HIV they were infected with during the genocide, and for others it’s the lack of school fees,” he said.
Gabo explained that SURF concentrates on injecting money into HIV/AIDS programs, psychosocial support projects, education, income generating activities, shelter and Legal assistance.
He explained that to address all that, SURF has so far spent £ 1.5 million to build 447 houses that are all occupied by survivors and will also spend over £ 100,000 on capacity advocacy outside Rwanda.
“We have built five clinics around the country that were originally catering only for survivors’ medical needs, but currently, we are working with the Ministry of Health to see them opened to the general public,” he said.
SURF was founded by Mary Kayitesi Blewitt, a British citizen of a Rwandan origin, Rwandans based in the UK, and British nationals. Although its support to survivors dates back to 1995, SURF was formally established and registered in 1997.