Saturday, 17 December 2011


People often want to know how Together for Sudan began. The answer is that TfS was born in Sudan following a request for help from Sudanese women. But what, people ask next, is Together for Sudan accomplishing? And does it work?

These questions are on target and usually result in those of us who know Together for Sudan beginning to speak all at once. It’s true that working in Sudan can be difficult due to the enormous needs of the people, the size of the country, extreme climate and increasingly difficult travel regulations for foreigners. Then there are the many requests for medical, financial and other help which are beyond our mandate, to say nothing of our limited means.

From time to time bureaucracy, misunderstanding and delay have turned into the “Are we really getting anywhere?” feeling, especially when the work which our Sudanese colleagues are doing has been impeded. But that doesn’t last long when we remember what Together for Sudan has accomplished, how we have developed through the years and the opportunities which lie ahead. Finding ourselves now on the verge of starting work in South Sudan as well as continuing in the north, I shake my head and wonder at the audacity — and the privilege — of it all. Working with women to help other women is what TfS is about.

My response to the question “Why Sudan?” is that I was living in Khartoum in the mid 1990s, a time of great neglect of the Sudanese people by the international community, when a group of Muslim women invited me to set up peace dialogue between northern and southern women. About this same time a Christian mother in the Nuba Mountains asked me to put her daughter through university and I agreed to do so because several people, some of them unknown to me, had helped me through university. The work which is TfS grew from those small beginnings, changing many times along the way but always listening to what Sudanese women say they need most: education for themselves and their children. More broadly, what Sudanese women need most – and this is true in both Sudan and South Sudan – is a hand up rather than a hand-out. They can take it from there.

The first project in the work known today as Together for Sudan was University Scholarships for Women. Since then TfS has sent some 200 women through universities in Sudan and currently has 154 women at universities in Sudan and South Sudan. In the late 1990s a number of projects, including a mobile library, a listening service for suicidal and despairing people and a women’s centre, flowered and faded for various reasons.

At present TfS has eight projects, most urgently in need of funding. In addition to University Scholarships for Women, Women’s Literacy Classes, HIV/AIDS Awareness Outreach and Eye Care Outreach, there are also Vocational TrainingScholarships for HIV/AID Affected Children and Solar Lighting Panels for schools,clinics and community centers off the electricity grid. May I ask you to choose one of these projects – perhaps one related to help given to you at a time of need – and send us a cheque? There is joy in sharing!

Lillian Craig Harris

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Dear Friends

In recent months there have been major developments in both Together for Sudan’s work and in Sudan
itself. We remain Muslims and Christians working together in service to the poor and dispossessed, women and children in particular. But Sudan’s recent transformation into the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan presents us with both difficulties and opportunities. Thousands of southerners living in the north have returned to their home areas and our office in Khartoum has been hard hit. Former Deputy Country Coordinator Victor and former TfS Accountant Minallah are among the thousands of people now living in Juba, capital of South Sudan, many with no proper housing or employment. Meanwhile, a significant number of Together for Sudan university scholars have left the north and re-registered at Juba University, hoping that Together for Sudan can continue to support them.

Arriving in Khartoum in early October, TfS Secretary Alan Goulty and I knew —despite the present TfS funding deficit – that we must answer the question “Should we expand our work to South Sudan?” During a brief visit to Juba, we called on contacts at Juba University, the Episcopal church and various international and local organizations. It was not, however, until we visited a recently set up organization dealing with HIV/AIDS awareness that I realized how well prepared TfS is to work in South Sudan. Editha, former leader of our HIV/AIDS Awareness Outreach in the Khartoum area, is now in Juba and eager to be re employed by TfS – as are Victor and Minallah.

Together for Sudan’s roots go back to a small group of Muslim and Christian women who sought to bring understanding and peace between the two religions and, seeing the number of minarets as well as churches in Juba, I decided that TfS will be right at home there.

With your support we can continue our work in Khartoum and environs and also begin work in South Sudan. To start with, we hope to find funding for more university scholarships as well as for women’s literacy classes and HIV/AIDS outreach. And already the indefatigable Dr. Nabila Radi who heads the TfS Eye Care Outreach in the Khartoum area is talking about an outreach to the South Sudan city of Wau.
November 2011

Lillian Craig Harris

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Fr Giovanni Vantini

All friends of Sudan mourn the passing of Father Giovanni Vantini, for nearly 60 years one of the leading scholars in the rich field of Sudanese studies.  TfS Trustee, Herman Bell, has generously launched a fund in Father Vantini’s memory, to support the educational work of Together for Sudan. Contributions will be greatly appreciated. Donate on line here or go to our Donate page for other options. 

Herman has also written the following tribute:

Father Giovanni Vantini was inspired by the extensive history of Christianity in the Sudan and spent most of his life serving the people of the Sudan. He is remembered with affection by his Muslim and Christian friends and students.

Father Vantini was born in Villafranca di Verona on 1 January 1923. He was ordained a priest in 1947, trained in Arabic and sent to the Sudan. There he spent 58 years, teaching in schools established by the Comboni missionaries, working in parish churches and St. Matthew’s Cathedral (Khartoum), engaging in journalistic endeavours such as Assalam [Peace], a bi-weekly journal launched at the time of independence in 1956, and conducting research on the history of the Church along the Nile for most of the past 2000 years. In 2005, he published La Missione del Cuore - I comboniani in Sudan nel ventesimo secolo [The Mission of the Heart – The Comboni Missionaries in Sudan in the Twentieth Century] (Bologna). In spite of ill health in his final years he managed to achieve the publication of Rediscovering Christian Nubia (Khartoum) in 2009. He died in Verona on the 3rd of May 2011 at the age of 87.

His command of Arabic was a vital skill for the production of his Oriental Sources Concerning Nubia (Heidelberg & Warsaw, 1975), an important companion study to the historical and archaeological work in which he was involved at that time in the Nile Valley. He wrote one of his major publications in Arabic: Ta' rikh al-masihiyya fi-l mamalik al-Nubiyya al-qadima wa-l- Sudan al-hadith [The History of Christianity in the Old Nubian Kingdoms and the Modern Sudan] (Khartoum, 1978).

In the colloquial Arabic of the Sudan there is a relevant expression of condolence which is widely used:   al-baraka fiikum ‘Blessing upon you.’ Death reminds us of the great store of blessing that is available to us all. ‘Blessed be those who mourn for they shall be comforted.’

Saint Anna, mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
 Faras Cathedral.

Father Vantini was admired as a scholar and a man of faith. He was also a kind and generous friend. Even though the Canticle of the Creatures was composed almost 700 years before his birth by Saint Francis, the following verses still seem particularly appropriate.

Altissimu, onnipotente bon Signore,
Tue so le laude la gloria e l'honore
et onne benedictione.
Laudato si', mi Signore, per sora nostra Morte corporale,
da la quale nullu homo vivente po skappare,
Laudate et benedicete mi Signore et rengratiate
et serviteli cun grande humilitate.

Good Lord, most high and almighty,
To thee be praises, glory, honour and all blessings.
Be praised, my Lord, for our sister bodily death
From whom no human being can escape.
Praise and bless my Lord; thank Him,
And serve Him with great humility.

By Herman Bell - TfS Trustee.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Together for Sudan visits Omdurman Women’s prison.

On 20 October the TFS eye care team led by Dr Nabila Radi visited Omdurman Women’s prison and saw 113 patients, of whom 90 were women and 17 children.  There are reportedly 180 children in all staying with their mothers in the prison.  Medicines were provided for 88 patients and arrangements made for 37 women to have their sight tested by a volunteer refractionist so that corrective lenses can be supplied by TFS.  It is worth noting that 50 of the women seen on this visit were studying in literacy classes in the prison.  So it is all the more important that they see well enough to read.

Three patients were also referred for operations, which will be carried out at the police hospital as the women are not allowed to leave custody to have the operations done elsewhere.   

Alan Goulty

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Kadugli Office Update

It is a great sadness that the TfS office in Kadugli, South Kordofan, has been closed since fighting swept across the area in early June.  None of our colleagues were injured but among items looted from our Kadugli office was a very expensive microscope essential for eye surgery during Eye Care Outreach. We remain hopeful that the microscope will be returned and that  – working through the Kadugli office – we may be able to continue Eye Care Outreach in the Kadugli hospital. We hope that a colleague from our Khartoum office will be able to visit Kadugli soon.  Meanwhile, our loyal guard, who was sent away by soldiers before the looting, is back in the office for which we had paid rent for several months in advance.  However, our TfS Field Representative is now working in the Khartoum office.  Alan and I were denied permission to go to Kadugli on our recent trip.

Lillian Craig Harris - TfS Director

Together for Sudan in the Nuba Mountains - click here to learn more

A group of trainees outside the TfS Kadugli office and project centre 

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Lambeth Palace Event Thanks

The Sudanese Ambassador attended
The TfS fundraising event at London’s Lambeth Palace was a major success – and also great fun. Lady Patey and Dr. Christine Green arranged the event with excellent support from Lambeth Palace.  Over 8,000 sterling was raised, some 4,600 during the auction of promises. The Barbershop Quartet, which has sung for us on several occasions, was another highlights of the event and I avoided creating a third highlight by not falling off the ladder which I climbed to give a short speech.  Together for Sudan is enormously grateful to Lambeth Palace personnel for their assistance and hospitality. TfS Patron Archbishop Rowan Williams was in Africa and thus unable to attend the event. 

Lillian's comments at the event

Read the report on our website

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A Trip to Juba

During an early October visit to Sudan  Alan and I make a quick trip to Juba, now the capital of South Sudan.   Two of our substantive staff from Khartoum, including  Deputy Country Coordinator Victor, had moved to Juba and we hoped to check out how feasible it might be to expand TfS work to South Sudan. We were impressed by the vitality of the new state and the need for literacy training for women, HIV/AIDS Awareness outreach and other work  which would fit our projects.  Although TfS has at present no funding to begin working in Juba we would welcome all donations to do so!

Lillian Craig Harris

Monday, 17 October 2011

Lambeth Palace Comments

Lillian Craig Harris, director of Together for Sudan spoke at our recent charity auction in Lambeth palace London. Her comments are replicated below.

11 October 2011

Lillian speaking at the event
Good evening and thank you for joining Together for Sudan for this fundraising event which is also a celebration of our service to the Sudanese people.  I am grateful to Together for Sudan Patron Archbishop Rowan Williams and his staff for inviting us here this evening even though the Archbishop is currently in Africa.

Many thanks are due as well to Dr. Christine Green and to Lady Patey for the many hours they have spent organizing this event.  And, of course, special thanks to Peter Arbuthnot, our auctioneer, and to member of the Barbershop Quartet who have sung for us on several occasions.  I am also grateful to fellow Together for Sudan Trustees Norman Swanney and Adrian Thomas as well as to Dave Lewis, the Together for Sudan webmaster, who publicised this event. And, of course, my great appreciation to all our helpers and supporters, especially you who are here this evening.

Together for Sudan has been a blessed charity since it began in the late 1990s.  Our educational and health care projects remain in great demand in the Khartoum area and in South Kordofan where we have a second office in Kadugli.  However, the charity presently faces severe financial difficulties as well as disruption of our work due to violence in South Kordofan. Our Kadugli office has been closed since early June due to fighting and subsequent looting of our office there.  We also face the challenge of recent loss of southern colleagues who have left Khartoum for South Sudan with the birth of that new nation.

Alan and I arrived in the UK yesterday after visits to both Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, and Juba, the capital of the new nation of South Sudan.  We are invited to begin work in South Sudan and even have there two former colleagues from our Khartoum office who would gladly work for us in Juba.  The needs and opportunities are enormous and we lack only the necessary funding. Today many people are reaching out to help South Sudan but relatively few are engaged directly with the critically important education of women and children.

Sudan’s present circumstances are the greatest challenge which Together for Sudan has faced in our more than 15 years of service to the Sudanese people. From the beginning – and at the request of Sudanese women – the work which became Together for Sudan has brought Muslims and Christians together in service to the poor. We hope to continue this work because it is a peace building gift which Muslims and Christians can give to one another. Our basic intent is to cross tribal, religious and social barriers in order to make peace by demonstrating that people of different faiths and backgrounds can work together to help other people in need.

This is who we are and what we believe.
In our present circumstances of combined peril and opportunity, I am reminded of my mother who was a missionary nurse and loved people of all sorts, mothers and babies in particular.  Mom taught me to look on, rather than look away from, the suffering of others.  When there were difficult times and seemingly insurmountable obstacles she would say, “Sometimes you just have to do it!”  And then she would get busy helping.

So what would she do if she were here today?  I think that she would reach out to desperate Sudanese women who long for education for themselves and their children.  Several years ago when I asked displaced women in Darfur what they needed they cried out “Teach us to read and we will help ourselves!”  With that mandate, Together for Sudan carries on although several of our projects are currently unfunded and the future is not clear.

Thank you for joining us at this critically important time for all Sudanese people.  It remains extremely important that we as individuals ask ourselves “Am I my sister’s keeper?”  And that we respond positively.  Thank you all for being with us tonight.  Enjoy!


Friday, 30 September 2011

A Story on Vocational Training Scholars

Displaced families face a daily struggle to survive on the outskirts of Khartoum, where there is lack of running water, electricity, or healthcare. In spite of these harsh conditions, young people in these areas are determined to gain qualifications and lift themselves out of poverty. We felt this determination while we were supervising them during their year of study and it was obvious in their results where all our 21 vocational scholars passed the exam with very good grades. We have sixteen scholars in Alfiha centre, two in Vocational Training Centre No (1), and three in St. Joseph Centre.
Vocational Scholars learn while tackling a practical challenge.

The majority of our scholars (fourteen students) study Electricity, five study Mechanics and one each auto electricity, and refrigeration and air-conditioning.  It is worth mentioning that even our two scholars who couldn’t attend the exam because of medical problems, sat the exam later and gained good results. Their success shows that people whose lives were devastated by war in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains, and South Sudan are hungry to learn and they just need guidance, support, and care to achieve their dreams.  Thanks to the Gordon Memorial College Trust Fund for financing this project!

The TfS Vocational Scholarship Project

Eye Care Results

This lady has Pterygium 
Our eye care team led by the indefatigable Dr Nabila Radi continued their excellent work for the displaced around Khartoum in September.  At outreaches in squatter areas north of Omdurman on 11 September and south of Khartoum on the 29th, she saw 232 patients, 141 of them women and 7 children.  In the second outreach there were an unusually large number of advanced cases of glaucoma, sadly diagnosed as beyond effective treatment.  The patients concerned were given drops as a palliative.  In all 118 patients received medicines, 20 were referred for operations, 48 received glasses and 76 will have further tests to determine the lenses they need.  Thanks to Dr Nabila for all she does to help.
Sadly this boy's eye must be removed

But there is no sign of the demand for these services diminishing.  How much more could be done if we only had more resources!

The TfS Eye Care Project

Please donate to our work even small donations add up !

Khartoum Changes

One of the challenges facing a small charity is to keep down the inescapable overhead costs.  Our Khartoum team have just made a useful contribution through finding a new office, smaller than the previous one but adequate, in better condition and at a lower rent.  It is in the same area of the city known as Khartoum 3.  Here is a snap of the outside and one of Rasha in her office interviewing one of the TfS university scholars.

Sadly Rasha is leaving us at the end of September to return to England.  We shall miss her great contribution especially to the drafting of project reports and of notes for this site.  We wish her well in whatever she decides to do next.

Friday, 16 September 2011

News from Kadugli

The news from Kadugli in the Nuba Mountains is less good.  The TFS office there remains closed, its work is suspended and there is no news of the stolen operating microscope and solar panels.  And we have just heard that the Sudanese authorities have turned down a request from the Director to visit Kadugli because of continuing insecurity in the town.

News from Khartoum

Good news from Khartoum is in short supply these days.  But we were cheered by the success of our last two eye care outreaches in the Khartoum displaced areas just before the Eid.  A total of 265 patients were seen by our doctor and 43 referred to hospitals for operations, to be performed this month.  Thanks to Dark and Light, our generous sponsors for this project.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Letters of thanks

Some of the Together for Sudan University Graduates have recently written letters of appreciation and thanks for the support that they received in gaining and passing their University courses. They are all very grateful for the opportunity of making a difference to Sudan and improving the lives of those around them. See their words on our website.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Furniture Found

Better news from Kadugli in that some of the furniture looted from the TFS office on 21 June has been returned, thanks primarily to good local police work.  But the eye care microscope and solar panels are still missing.  However the situation in the town is still too insecure to permit the office to resume work.  Let us pray that the holy month of Ramadan, which is about to begin, will ease the tensions there.

All in the day’s work for Dr Nabila

We have just received reports on two eye care outreaches held earlier this month, in a poor suburb of Omdurman and the North Khartoum district of Haj Yousif.  In all 229 patients were seen, 17 operations recommended, 30 pairs of glasses distributed and over 100 patients received eye drops or other medicines.  All in the day’s work for Dr Nabila but what a busy two days!

Thursday, 30 June 2011

A start to fundraising in the USA.

With pending, and now achieved, federal permission to fundraise in the United States, Friends Together for Sudan has made a giant step forward.  Already Alan and I have lectured about Sudan and the work of Together for Sudan at Malloy College in New York and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Mclean, Virginia.  And Alan did a splendid job informing American Friends of the Episcopal Church in Sudan about Sudanese history and present difficulties facing the Sudanese people.  It took two years for Friends Together for Sudan to gain official approval to introduce itself in the US, but now here we are all dressed up and looking for more opportunities to spread the word.  
Give us a call at this address or email us at, or

Monday, 27 June 2011

TfS Colleagues Go South

Together for Sudan’s friends and trustees join TfS field workers in mourning the loss of three colleagues who have decided to leave for South Sudan as a result of the 9 July division of Sudan into two countries. Deputy Country Coordinator Victor has already left for Juba and accountant Minalla and Messenger/cleaner Rina plan to leave as soon as transportation is available.  Our sadness at the loss of these valued friends and co-workers is overwhelming.  I ask the one God of Christians and Muslims to comfort, guide and protect all our Sudanese coworkers and supporters at this time of enormous change and uncertainty.      

TfS Kadugli Office Looted

Under pretext of an imminent air raid, TfS office guard Nazar was warned by soldiers to leave the Kadugli office.  When he returned some time later he found the office stripped of computers, furniture, safe, files and all other moveable equipment. Most other NGO and INGO offices had already been looted.  We are enormously grateful to Nazar for staying at his post as long as possible despite the threatening situation.   

The Nuba People return to war

Together for Sudan’s office in Kadugli has been closed since early June following an outbreak of heavy fighting in South Kordofan between government forces and the Nuba peole.  TfS Field Coordinator Ibrahim was evacuated by UNIMIS with other INGO Forum personnel and subsequently reunited with his family in Wad Medani.  He will work from our Khartoum office for the time being.  Kawther, a TfS university graduate, who was volunteering in the Kadugli office and Fatima, our cleaner/messenger have also reached safe haven.  Fighting continues 

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Going Mobile - Text a Donation

From today you will be able to text a donation to Together for Sudan using your mobile phone. This great little innovation makes donating easier than ever before. We receive the whole amount of your donation and if eligible we can also receive Gift Aid from your donation.

Small amounts or large amount don't matter, please give what you can afford. The process is simple:

  • Use any mobile phone
  • Send a text to 70070
  • Text this message with the amount you want to give - i.e. - TFSA01 £10
  • Set the value to what you want to give
  • Agree to Gift Aid if applicable
It's that easy. Please make a donation to our work and help us do more in Sudan. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Yoga Challenge Update

We are delighted to let you know that two of our young supporters are undertaking the yoga equivalent of running a marathon in aid of the disadvantaged women of Sudan!

Melinda Bates and Hannah Mitchel (Mel and Han) have set themselves the challenge to practise Bikram Yoga for 30 consecutive days - and all to raise funds for Together for Sudan

Mel and Han are already twenty days into this incredible challenge which will end on the 22nd April! They are going strong and are absolutely committed to complete it for such a worthwhile cause.

For those of you who are not so familiar with what Bikram Yoga entails - Bikram Yoga is a style of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury, consisting of a series of 26 postures carried out in a heated room that is 40 degrees C, each class lasting 90 minutes!

At the moment they are just over 50% towards their £1,000 fundraising target. It would be terrific if you could help encourage Mel and Han to complete their goal - please do go to their page at our fundraising website:

Many thanks from all of us at

Together for Sudan

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Yoga Challenge to Raise Funds for TfS

We (Mel and Han) have set ourselves the challenge to Practice Bikram Yoga for 30 consecutive days in aid of ‘Together For Sudan’.

For those of you who are not so familiar with what Bikram Yoga entails - Bikram Yoga is a style of yoga developed by Bikram Choudhury and which consists of a series of 26 postures carried out in a heated room that is 40C, each class lasting 90 minutes! We will be starting on the 23rd March and ending on the 22nd April! This will be challenging both mentally and physically for us, but we are absolutely dedicated and committed for such a worthwhile cause.

So dig deep everyone and get Sponsoring!
Click here to make a donation on Mel and Han's Just Giving web page

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Our 2010 Annual Report and Accounts

The Charity Commission has acknowledged receipt of our Annual Report & Accounts for the year ended 31 Dec 2010. This completes the trustees' statutory duties for 2010. Phew what a relief !

If you're interested in seeing our report for Together for Sudan's activities coupled with our accounts for the same period look no further. A copy is here to view and share. It can be printed and saved for deeper reading. As you will see this year was not easy but showed that there is still faith in the work of Together for Sudan and much still to do. Make a donation online today and help us reach our 2011 goals. Donate to Together for Sudan online here

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Good News This Week

After nearly two years of discussion with various US authorities, our sister charity, Friends Together for Sudan, has all the necessary permissions to start work. It is incorporated in the Commonwealth of Virginia, recognized by the Internal revenue Service as having tax-exempt status and licensed by the Office of Foreign assets Control of the US Treasury to work in Sudan in partnership with Together for Sudan. So our friends in the US can now make their donations to FTFS and claim the full tax relief allowed by US law.

Checks can be made out to Friends Together for Sudan and sent to FTFS, 2515 N Lincoln Street, Arlington VA 22207, USA.

We are very grateful to our American friends for this initiative and look forward to fruitful cooperation with them to expand our work, especially in the Nuba Mountains.
From Alan 29/1/11

Wednesday, 12 January 2011


This is a difficult time for everyone in Sudan as well as for Sudanese abroad and people who know and love the Sudanese – northerners as well as southerners, easterners and westerners. Understanding and compassion is needed for all Sudanese as the referendum voting continues and as they face a new and uncertain future in its aftermath.

There are many concerns but among them is the plight of thousands of southerners who have congregated on the outskirts of Khartoum in the belief that their journey south would be facilitated by government, international or church efforts. This is not apparently happening sufficiently and major health and security issues could develop.

Together for Sudan has lost two of our five key colleagues in the Khartoum office. One hopes to return after the referendum but may not be able to do so. Nonetheless, we are determined to carry on as a charity dedicated to helping, in particular, women and children who are marginalized and in need of education. But major adjustments seem to lie ahead.

TfS remains dedicated to Sudan and to its multi-cultured and worthy people. At this difficult time of enormous change we hold hope for the Sudanese people and ask God to guide and protect them.

May peace and justice prevail,

Lillian Craig Harris

Director, Together for Sudan

A Response to Hunger and Courage

Without giving away any names or information I would just like to say that the educational needs of David and Tony have been met and I am enormously grateful that this has happened. Together for Sudan is
grateful for every donation that we receive, whether for a specific project or for our general funds that allow us the flexibility to help people such as David and Tony in this way. These two now have a chance at a future that they did not have before.

Saturday, 8 January 2011


  A December monitoring report on ten elementary schools in the deserts outside Khartum brought me to tears. In each of these schools TfS is paying salaries for two teachers and offering teacher training to all teachers. In return the schools – which are as poor and shabby as a school can get – allow ten HIV/AIDS affected children to study free. If you think this isn’t much on either side you are right. But little is better than nothing when you live on the edge of life. Listen to this:

Living on the edge !
Most of the 223 students at Equatorial School in Mayo are southerners but have remained in northern Sudan as they have no means to travel south. Among them are five orphaned brothers and many other children whose parents or guardians have died of AIDS. Another student, Tony, is 17, in grade 8 and interested in studying. However, as his father is dead and his mother “does not care for him” (I quote the monitoring report) he is homeless and sleeps on the street. The headmaster of Equatorial School asks TfS if we can pay Tony’s school fees next year if he fails this year, as seems probable. Our monitor could only reply that TfS, too, is uncertain of next year funding.

As I read this monitoring report today, several other tragic situations stood out, one in particular at Salama School in Khartoum South. David, age 18 and also in grade 8, is an orphan. He has two elder brothers and one younger sister and is dedicated to continuing his studies but is unable to pay tuition fees. This means that he will not be eligible to sit for the state basic school examination in March. More critically at the moment, according to the head master, David comes to school with no shoes, is often sick (faints) because of hunger and sometimes does not show up because he has no bus fare and, of course, no money to buy food. The head master wept as he described the tenacity of a boy who longs to be educated and may not make it, adding that there are many students like this but David’s situation stands out.

I have asked our Khartoum office to let me know the costs of school fees for Tony and David, two courageous and determined young people who are being pulled down by poverty and the effect of HIV/AIDS on their families. Would someone who reads this please help me help them?

See our scholarship project for AIDS affected Children

If you would like to help click here to send TfS a message

Lillian. 6 January 2011.

Friday, 7 January 2011


Together for Sudan was born out of volunteerism. Other that our full time TfS colleagues in Khartoum and Kadugli, all TfS supporters and trustees are volunteers. In particular, we depend on volunteers to help us fundraise. Recently something very heartwarming happened.

In November 2010, Paul, a graduate student at Oxford University in England, volunteered to research foundations and corporate programmes which might be interested in supporting TfS. This was excellent news, especially as Paul further agreed to advise us on possibilities of using social network sites such as Facebook and Twitter to publicise our work to the younger generation. This in itself was enormously satisfying but then almost immediately a second volunteer showed up, this time a woman.

In December Rasha, a young Syrian working temporarily in Khartoum, asked if she could help TfS in some way. Country Coordinator Neimat was delighted to send Rasha out to monitor the ten schools on the outskirts of Khartoum where our Teacher Training and Scholarships for HIV/AIDS Orphans are functioning.

Next -- and the sequence seems almost too good to be true – in late December an Iranian-American senior at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., heard about TfS. Amin and his friends did some fundraising in the school cafeteria and this week presented me with $55 for Together for Sudan!

By now, of course, I would not be surprised if other volunteers contact us from Cape Town or Budapest! So please don’t wait! We’re on a roll!

Lillian. 6 January 2011

Monday, 3 January 2011

Dr Nabila - Combating Blindness with Love and Persistence

Dr Nabila Radi
Some of my cousins from the southern part of the United States refer to family reunions as opportunities for us to “love on” each other. This is an appropriate description of the work of Sudanese ophthalmologist Dr. Nabila Radi, “mother” of Together for Sudan’s enormously popular Eye Care Outreach. Begun in the squatter settlements outside Khartoum in 2002, this project has benefitted thousands of people, including changing the lives of hundreds by cataract removal. Since September 2006 the TfS Eye Care Project has also been working in the Nuba Mountains where it has been funded through Together for Sudan by the Austrian charity Light for the World.

Dr. Nabila’s concern for destitute, displaced and outcast people is at the heart of the Eye Care outreach. Now widely praised, the project has benefitted thousands of poor and destitute
 adults and children, many of whom had not previously seen a medical doctor. Without Dr. Nabila’s ability to recognize illness and disease, I’m certain that many more displaced Sudanese, including children, would have died. Since this Together for Sudan project began I have often trailed around behind Dr. Nabila, usually in the wretched squatter settlements outside Khartoum, and understood from the start that she never does things half way. But before that I, too, was a “blind” person and she had to nag me for at least two years before I gave in.

“Together for Sudan is an educational charity, not a medical charity,” I used to tell Dr. Nabila when she urged me to set up an eye care outreach. “We have to specialize because we can’t do everything.” Her reply was swift: “So how are people going to learn to read when they can’t see?”