Monday, 17 August 2009

Help Needed Now

In July Alan and I attended a meeting of five of the eight Together for Sudan Trustees, an unofficial meeting at a hotel in London’s Heathrow airport. The purpose was to discuss the funding difficulty into which Together for Sudan has been plunged by the current international financial recession. TfS Treasurer Norman Swanney laid out the situation: unless there is a dramatic upsurge in untied funds-- i.e. donations not ear marked for a particular project – TfS will be in dire straits by the end of this year. Essentially, this shocking situation has come about due to two difficulties: 1) the inability of several of our long term institutional partners to continue to support us and 2) the rising costs of operating our two offices in Khartoum and Kadugli.

As you can imagine, TfS Trustees are deeply concerned and asking all our supporters who can afford to do so to come to our assistance. Meanwhile, although we are already low budget, we are reducing costs in both the Khartoum and Kadugli offices and that, sadly, may entail closing one of the offices and reducing personnel . Meanwhile, although the situation remains uncertain we are determined to survive for the sake of the women and children we serve. What more can be done?

Together for Sudan is in process of registering an American charity – “Friends Together for Sudan” – which will raise funds for Together for Sudan. But clearance through US sanctions against transfer of funds to Sudan will likely take several more weeks, if not months. And what we need is more funding now.

Together for Sudan is not a religious charity. But, from the time it began, both Muslims and Christians have recognized that this is a work of grace. Otherwise how could we have accomplished so much on such a relatively small budget? One of our highest objectives has always been to bring Muslims and Christians into service to one another, a much needed form of peacemaking.

TfS Trustees and Patrons are dedicated to continuing an educational work which over the past decade has benefitted thousands of Sudanese, most of them displaced and disadvantaged women and children. It is an enormous privilege to serve the Sudanese people and we hope to continue.

But we need your support. You can make a donation on line at by downloading Bankers Orders or Gift Aid forms. Or you can send a cheque payable to Together for Sudan to 33 Balmoral Road, Trowbridge, Wiltshire BA14 OJS. UK. Please note that all US dollar cheques need to be made out to the" Bishop Mubarak Fund "

Lillian Craig-Harris

Three Weeks Later

It is three weeks since I last reported so time to give an update on how my preparations for the marathon are progressing.

I have kept to a steady training schedule with distances gradually increasing. This afternoon I did a twelve-mile run which has left me quite weary. I feel that I have a long way to go before I shall be capable of running twice that distance but it is reassuring at least to be able to keep a steady pace for two hours.

I am still in Aberdeenshire and my current training route is along the upper reaches of the River Gairn. These days it is a remote and deserted area, but in many places one can see ruined farms and lodges. There used to be a strong community here with a school, chapel and shops, but it was a hard life. Poverty drove the people away, and now there are only sheep, grouse, deer, hares and birds. The harsh conditions inevitably prompt comparisons with Sudan. Ultimately most of Scotland’s displaced people achieved a more prosperous life – will the same be true for the Sudanese? Perhaps, but like all people in transition they will need support.

Adrian Thomas