Sunday, 22 January 2012

British Embassy Grant

A recent grant from the British Embassy in Khartoum will allow us to train 35 literacy teachers in the Khartoum area. The majority of these will be women, several of whom we hope will be able to set up literacy classes. It seems a miracle, given our present financial crisis, but four of our eight projects continue to function, including University Scholarships for Women, Vocational Training, Women’s Literacy classes and Eye Care Outreach.  However, funding needs urgently to be replenished if we are to continue to support education for Sudanese women in both Sudan and South Sudan.  

Small regular donations help us to plan ahead and are a really effective way of supporting our work.  

Learn how to donate here

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

South Kordofan Update

Our colleague Saudi from the Together for Sudan office in Khartoum visited Kadugli in late December and reports that he found Together for Sudan watchman Nazar still on duty despite the looting of our office. No usable equipment remains in the building. Our two colleagues visited the landlord who promised to do general maintenance but all equipment will need to be replaced.  Meanwhile, Kadugli remains tense and during Saudi’s visit to the local Commissioner, Together for Sudan was asked to move our upcoming Eye Care Outreach to Talodi – to which some 2,000 people from other areas of South Kordofan have fled seeking safety in recent months. The local Humanitarian Affairs Commission has lost most partners in UN agencies and international organizations. And it was not possible for Saudi to check on the more than 20 solar lighting panels, most in unstable areas, which Together for Sudan had recently set up on schools and clinics. 

See the Nuba section on our website

Friday, 13 January 2012

Eye Care News

News just in of two successful eye care outreaches in the suburbs of Khartoum and Omdurman last month.  A total of 214 patients were seen; 139  were prescribed medicines, mainly eye drops;  51 were referred to hospital for sight tests; and 50 were recommended for operations.  Many thanks to our indefatigable doctors who undertake this work and to Izdihar and colleagues from our Khartoum office who organize the day’s work and provide indispensable support.

We have just collated the eye care statistics for 2011.  5074 patients were seen, just over half of them at 24 day-long outreaches in the Khartoum displaced areas and the rest in the Nuba Mountains.  477 of the recommended operations were carried out, mostly for cataracts, and with an excellent success rate.  The others will be arranged as soon as security conditions permit in the Nuba Mountains.   We are glad to have been able to help so many people but the needs remain enormous and our generous donors - Dark and Light and Light for the World - have been obliged to suspend funding for us in 2012 because of the financial crisis.  Can you help?

This team helped many in the Nuba Mountains early in 2011

Monday, 2 January 2012

News and Developments

Plans To Set Up Closer Ties with Ahfad University for Women.

TfS is currently in conversation with Ahfad University, our first partner, to strengthen the relationship by helping Ahfad improve the English language kills of first year students. President Gasim Badri, a TfS Patron, has made it a policy through the years to include southern and other displaced women, many of whom now remain at Ahfad, to complete their education. We salute Dr. Gasim for his far sighted and humanitarian approach to education as he follows in the footsteps of his grandfather who insisted on the need to educate girls and of his father who founded the school which eventually became Ahfad University for Women.

News from South Kordofan.

The Together for Sudan field office at Kadugli in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan has been closed since early June when widespread fighting broke out between Sudanese government forces and local militias. The area remains insecure and the TfS office closed although some of the looted furniture and equipment has been returned. Office guard Nazar keeps an eye on the situation but TfS Field Coordinator Ibrahim is unable for security reasons to return to Kadugli and now works in our Khartoum office. Sadly, a planed TfS Eye  Care Outreach at Kadugli hospital later this year, using a team of eye specialists from
Khartoum, has been indefinitely postponed.

Eye Care Outreach in Women’s Prison, Omdurman.

During October Dr. Nabila Radi examined 113 women, 17 children and six men in the women’s prison in Omdurman. Appropriate medications as well as eye drops and vitamins were given to 88 people. Thirty seven women in need of corrective lenses were scheduled to be seen by a volunteer refractionist and prescriptions were sent to Together for Sudan to follow up. Three operations – two for bone malformation/obstruction and one for glaucoma – were scheduled. TfS Assistant Project Coordinator Izdihar reports that there are currently 180 children living with their mothers in the prison. The majority of the imprisoned women will have been arrested for brewing beer which is illegal but often the only way displaced and impoverished families can provide for their children. A second TfS Eye Care Outreach involving over 100 people was held by Dr. Shadia Alkhir Alshafia in Haj Yusuf outside Khartoum also in October.