Fund for Genocide survivors launched

A new fund to assist the 1994 Genocide survivors further their education, the Post Genocide Education Fund (PGEF), has been launched in the country.

A new fund to assist the 1994 Genocide survivors further their education, the Post Genocide Education Fund (PGEF), has been launched in the country.

The head of the Genocide survivors association, Ibuka, Théodore Simburudari, Sunday presided over the official launch of PGEF.

One student was immediately awarded a scholarship by the fund and another two will be added this year.

Ibuka and PGEF also signed a Memorandum of Understanding that aims at helping student Genocide survivors acquire further education.

PGEF was co-founded by Dr Samuel Totten, a professor of genocide studies at the University of Arkansas and Fayetteville in the US, and Rafiki Ubaldo, a Rwandan survivor of the 1994 Genocide who is also a student at Stockholm University in Sweden.

The fund was established after discovering that many highly intelligent young Genocide survivors were being denied university education because their parents were killed during the Genocide.

The organisation provides scholarships to universities for survivors wherever genocide occurred.

Among the countries included in the programme are Bosnia-Herzegovina, Cambodia, Sudan (Darfur) and East Timor.

Rafiki said survivors needed to be helped and that PGEF would continue sourcing for funds to help more Genocide orphans who were left without financial support to attend university.
“In many cases most young people were forced to become heads of their households and had to work at menial jobs to provide shelter and food for their siblings and other family members,” he said.

On his part, Simburudari acknowledged the role played by the government of Rwanda saying it had continued to support Genocide survivors, most especially orphans and the vulnerable.

However, he called for the establishment of a compensation fund for victims of the 1994 Genocide, which claimed the lives of an estimated one million people.
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