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?”