About the Rwandan Genocide and Survivors Fund:

2014 marks the 20th anniversary of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. From April 7 to July 15, 1994, approximately 1,000,000 Rwandans, primarily Tutsis, were murdered in a genocide perpetrated by the Hutu death squads, the Interahamwe. There are approximately 400,000 survivors, primarily widows and orphans, of the genocide still living in Rwanda. Over the past 20 years, the vast majority have received no reparations or assistance of any meaningful kind.

Survivors Fund (SURF) was formed in 1997 to assist the survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide. SURF is rebuilding the lives of survivors of the Rwandan genocide. SURF’s work is informed and underpinned by four guiding principles. SURF is:

  • Committed over the long term to survivors and partners in Rwanda.
  • Independent and flexible in its response to the priorities of survivors.
  • Identifying activities to fund that are high impact and sustainable.
  • Building the capacity of its partners to deliver programs.

Holistic programs are developed and delivered by survivor-led organizations including AVEGA (Association of Widows of the Genocide) and AERG (Student’s Association of Survivors), with technical support from SURF. Any one angle of assistance – be it medical, economic or social – would be an incomplete answer. Thus the programs range from healthcare to house building, education to entrepreneurship.

About the Ride for the Survivors:

From June 18, 2014 to June 22, 2014, a small team of Texans will cycle across Rwanda from the border with Congo to the border with Tanzania. That is a distance of approximately 200 miles starting at an elevation of 5,000 feet at the border with Congo, going up to 8,000 feet in the next 50 miles and gradually going back down to 3,000 feet at the border with Tanzania.

The purpose of the ride is to raise awareness for the plight of the survivors. The 20th anniversary is being regarded as the last chance to make a big push for reparations and financial assistance. The average life expectancy in Rwanda is about 55 years. For the adult victims, their time is quickly running out. For the children, they are entering adulthood severely handicapped by trauma and reduced educational opportunities and family support.

Cycling Route

200 miles across the Rwandan mountains starting in Gisenyi, passing through Kigali and ending in Rusumo.