Tuesday, 24 December 2013

An Update on Our Current Situation

South Sudan 

We are very disturbed by reports emerging from South Sudan that there is fighting in certain places, possible military action and more people displaced.

We do not believe that violence will solve the problems which the people of South Sudan face as they seek to establish a new, prosperous and peaceful country,

We pray for an immediate end to bloodshed. This plea is especially poignant at Christmas when we join with people across the world, praying for peace and justice.

We learn that some of our projects continue to function despite the difficulties. 

The University in Juba has continued working for the students as best it could up to Christmas.

Our AIDS/HIV outreaches for 2013 were completed safely and planning is taking place for further outreaches to resume in 2014 as conditions allow.

Kimu Clinic is functioning and the staff are safe.

We have no word about the adult literacy work in Terekeka but we will continue to pray that staff and the adults in those remote schools remain safe.

We are in contact with our friends in South Sudan and we have, on your behalf, wished them a peaceful Christmas. We are committed to standing beside them and supporting them.

The situation in Sudan is changing rapidly and we will update you with further news of our projects as soon as we can.


Our work in Sudan continues and we have regular positive reports from the office in Khartoum about our students at Ahfad. We have recently recruited two further students who will be our St Martin’s scholars in Khartoum

The adult literacy classes for women, work with orphan children and eye care outreaches continue

Recently we have had discussions about extending the involvement of our students into helping with Breast Care awareness alongside our HIV/Aids outreaches. In these outreaches we work to educate some of the most disadvantaged women who are most affected by poverty and lack of opportunity for education.

Thank You

Many of our loyal supporters have responded very generously to our Christmas appeal. Thank you and we look forward to receiving more completed gift aid forms and donations. We will only use funds for projects where we know that the projects can be safely and quickly delivered for the benefit of women.

We pray that 2014 will be peaceful, especially in South Sudan.

We are committed to working with all peacemakers and we know first hand the power of education to promote peace and justice, especially among women.  

We wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year holiday. Thank you again for your support

Peter Hullah

24th December 2013

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Two New Scholars

We have just had good news from Khartoum about two recently selected additional university scholars who are being supported by St Martin in the Fields.

This is really excellent news that we are very pleased about. The new scholars are called Samra and Maab.

We are delighted to have this information from Neimat, our coordinator in Khartoum, both women are presently studying at Ahfad University. Peter our Director very much hopes to meet Samra and Maab when he travels to Khartoum next year.

More news on these scholars and all our other scholars will follow. 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

HIV/AIDS Outreach in Juba Sponsored by the Women's Education Partnership

Sarah from NWERO Speaks
Sarah from NWERO Speaks
Sarah from NWERO ( national women empowerment and rehabilitation organisation) talking to over 70 students at an outreach on the Juba University campus. This one of a series of 12 outreaches we are promoting in the town and out in the country. 

In the feedback many students said that his kind of information giving open forum was much appreciated.

HIV/AIDS facilitators
HIV/AIDS facilitators
Sarah with the trained NWERO team selected today to deliver this important outreach.  A university   lecturer who attended said how valuable this outreach was for students who are the future of South Sudan. 

Sarah answering questions towards the end of the session about relationships
Sarah answering questions towards the end of the session about relationships

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Adult Literacy with NRC in Terekeka

The partnership is launched with the Norwegian Refugee Council and WEP to deliver and monitor 2 adult literacy classes for women in Terekeka. 

The journey was tough on very poor roads to a neglected part of South Sudan. I am celebrating in Terekeka with Ayoume Elly, the NRC local coordinator who with his team has set up our joint project. Ayoume Elly used to be head of a girls school in Yei and understands our aims well. 

Peter our director with Eliaou
Peter our director with Ayoume Elly

To visit the adult literacy project - women teaching women basic skills in speaking and writing. The rural two-class project is organised and monitored by the Norwegian Refugee Council and sponsored this year by a generous WEP donor. We were amazed at what we saw after travelling for 4 hours to a place where locals have had a troubled past. Terekeka is a forgotten area with many education and social problems especially for women. The literacy project, taught by two women teachers from the community who are being trained locally, serves 99 adults, 68 women and 31 men. 

A forgotten area
A forgotten area

Women led the question and answer session
Women led the question and answer session

It was a large class taught by Veronica. The curriculum will include literacy and numeracy together with life skills ( teaching among other things, peace education, gender issues and trauma counselling ) and if the project runs for two years , those attending will make the equivalent of 4 years progress at primary school. We have funding for the first year at present.

Learning is serious business
Learning is serious business

Adult literacy is important to the life of the community
Adult literacy is important to the life of the community

The class thanked us for not neglecting them - they said they really wanted to learn, to speak English and to be able to read and write.

Eager to Learn

Women are very keen to learn
The questions were about how to balance time between child care, cooking and coming to class. Also in a hot place they asked for water to be made available more easily as the classes run from 2 to 5 in the afternoon. 

Attendance is very important
Attendance is very important 
Babies slept at the back in goat skins
Babies slept at the back in goat skins
A woman combines childcare and learning effectively
A woman combines childcare and learning effectively   
The women of the upper class greeted us with a song
The women of the upper class greeted us with a song

Basic Adult Literacy in Lojora Terekeka

Penny congratulating Abalo Vicky, the teacher of the class for first level speaking. The men and women have difficult writing and English is very much a foreign language

Penny congratulates Abalo Vicky

Friday, 25 October 2013

Rosa and Martina at Juba University

Rosa and Martina are willing to work hard to succeed
Rosa and Martina are willing to work hard to succeed
Rosa ( left ) came south from Khartoum in the middle of her science studies. She wants to be a microbiologist but the course is hard as there are hardly any facilities  for practical work at the university. However, now in her fourth year, she is a strong person and on her own found  work experience in the laboratory of the  South Sudan Beverage Company at the brewery. Her advice to her sister WEP scholars " Be serious about your studies and don't  give up."

Majdolin at Juba University Celebrating being a Women's Education Partnership Scholar

Majdolin celebrates with a smile
Majdolin is in her 4th year at the university studying medicine. She started in Khartoum on a Together for Sudan scholarship then moved South after the independence of South Sudan. She had no chance of going to university without the scholarship. "There are problems to overcome - sometimes we have no books but since being a teenager I wanted to be a doctor and I am continuing. " Her Women's Education Partnership scholarship ( WEP is our new name ) friends elected her as their representative when we met them and Majdolin plans to make sure our group of girls stay in touch with each other and support each other as they study. 

Women's Education Partnership Students in Juba

Women's Education Partnership University Students in Juba
Women's Education Partnership University Students in Juba
Seven of our scholarship undergraduates come together at the university. I addition, on the left, Donna is a scholarship graduate who after studying law, is now working in the judiciary. She has aspirations to become a judge and her advice to her friends was "Be serious about your studies and finish your education - never give up despite the problems. Thank you for the help. I would never have made it without my scholarship ".

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Meeting a Remarkable Pioneer for Women's Education in South Sudan

Peter the Women's Education Partnership Director and Joy Kwaje South Sudanese MP
Peter the Women's Education Partnership Director and Joy Kwaje South Sudanese MP
For Joy as she pioneers women's education through her role as an MP in parliament in South Sudan, Lillian is her role model for passion and for volunteering. 

Joy confirmed that our agenda to help women was very much her agenda as she develops the new country of South Sudan.

"Women's Education Partnership, beginning to work on small scale education projects to support disadvantaged and refugee women, could not have come at a better time for us ".

She looks forward to staying close to all we do and she is very much a friend of WEP.

A talking point :- in South Sudan, out of 332 members of Parliament, 94 are women .....
Other countries take note .........

Kimu Connection

The Government Polio vaccination team uses Kinu Clinic as a base to work from
The Government Polio vaccination team uses Kinu Clinic as a base to work from

At Kimu Clinic

Silas with the Kimu Clinic technicians
Silas with the Kimu Clinic technicians
Silas, a long term friend of WEP is surrounds by his cheerful team of lab technicians at Kimu Health Centre, Juba. These  ladies know that their detective skills will make a difference to the way the community becomes healthy. 

Women come to Kimu Clinic with their children
Women come to Kimu Clinic with their children
 The Health Centre run by Silas Jojo and supported by the Women's Education Partnership is a lifeline for community health.

The Operating Theatre at Kimu Clinic
The Operating Theatre at Kimu Clinic
The equipment has arrived thanks to very generous donations from our supporters. It's almost ready to be used and Silas predicts that the first operation will take place here this weekend.
In response to donations of equipment, the community have gathered funds to buy an air conditioning unit. This is real Partnership working at Kimu.

Kimu Clinic Juba

Emanuelle and Mum Stella
Emanuelle and Mum Stella
At Kimu health centre brave four year old Emmanuelle, watched by her anxious mother Stella ,receives an injection via a cannula to treat pneumonia. Kimu is a local health clinic on the outskirts of Juba , supported by Women's Education Partnership. The clinic brings health to the women and children of a disadvantaged and poor community of refugees. 
All smiles now
All smiles after the injection is over. With the support Kimu receives from partners and friends, including WEP, the clinic is able to raise levels of health for the local community.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Landing in Juba

Just coming in to land at Juba, South Sudan

The President of Sudan was leaving after a peace making visit as we arrived in Juba. The airport was packed and the roads closed. In all the crowds we were welcomed and admitted to South Sudan. Then Penny and I walked the mile or so from the airport to the hotel past lines of waiting cars and security. 

Khartoum is hot and dusty: Juba  is hot and humid after brief torrential afternoon rains. 

This evening we had a good conversation with Maud Johansson of the Norwegian Relief Council.  Later this week we will travel for a couple of days outside Juba to visit adult education projects - women teaching women , with  WEP supporting NRC as a partner in development education for women who have materially very little indeed. This is an exciting  and a very real development for WEP and thank you to our donors. 

We can see the links building between our work in Sudan and South Sudan, helping women who are disadvantaged or displaced through education. The real joy is that In both countries we are listening to local women  who are equally passionate for this to happen. 

Ibrahim and Izdihar

Ibrahim and Izdihar are two of our four Women's Education Partnership staff in Sudan who coordinate and monitor our projects there.
Ibrahim and Izdihar both Women's Education Partnership staff in Khartoum
Izdihar (right) has special responsibility for our 88 undergraduate students and she really knows them well and understands them. They rely on her to look after them as they learn in Khartoum, often far away from their home areas which are affected by troubles.
Ibrahim organises the classes for women we teach in adult literacy in the dusty poorer areas of Khartoum. He also helps us monitor the work we do to educate young children made orphans through HIV/Aids in 10 schools.
We talked with them today in the office before we headed south to Juba.

Monday, 21 October 2013

Ida's Dream

Without Together for Sudan, I would have had no chance in life.
Ida, originally from the Nuba Mountains, graduated in October 2012 from Africa University in Khartoum. She was one of our scholars and through this support she has gained a very Good degree in health science at Africa University Khartoum. She is now working at a government hospital as a nurse caring for patients who are suffering from heart problems and diabetes.." Without Together for Sudan, I would have had no chance in life. This allowed me to follow my dream to study and to become a nurse."

Meeting with our Students

We spent today with many of our scholarship students at Ahfad University and at the hostel we support. We have 88 young women currently studying at universities in Khartoum. 
Our WEP sponsored students ( and us )
They tell of amazing stories of the power of education to change their lives. One girl from the Nuba Mountains told us, "Without the support I have received, I would have been lost. Now I will graduate next year in Rural Extension, Education and Development and I will use my skills to help children back home understand the importance of education.
Spot Peter and Penny!
We are where we should because the day belonged to our students as they enjoyed being together.

Meeting With Dr Gassim

With Dr Gassim Badri ( chancellor of Ahfad University Khartoum)  and Neimat ( Women's Education Partnership/Together for Sudan coordinator in Sudan) and Izidhar ( who monitors closely for us the progress and well being of our scholars). 
Dr Gasim bardi with Neimat and Peter
Neimat and Izdihar (centre) with Dr Gassim Badri 
Dr Gassim said how vital it is that disadvantaged women have access to education. We must therefore continue to expand our scholarship scheme if we can. The fact that already 285 of our scholars have graduated is an amazing and unique achievement to support Women in Education in this part of the world.
We talked of how we could encourage our students even more and we are exploring running some English conversation classes for them nearby using volunteers from among our local supporters.
Dr Gassim leads a remarkable university for women and many of our students see him as a role model for level headed and calm leadership, especially in the recent disturbances.
Dr Gassim is one of our patrons and we thanked him personally on behalf of all our supporters for his personal generosity and his commitment to our scholars.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Greetings from Khartoum

Khartoum is hot and dusty with people relaxing at the end of the festival. 

We were welcomed on arrival and met in the busy airport terminal with friendship and smiles. 

And! We travelled with only hand luggage !

Neimat will join us later this evening and we will greet her from friends of Together for Sudan/ Women's Education Partnership. 

Peter and Penny - Saturday evening at the Acropole, Khartoum. 

Friday, 7 June 2013

New Newsletter Available

Our latest Together for Sudan newsletter is out. Crammed full of news about our projects and events. If you are not yet on our mailing list or receiving the newsletter by e-mail why not get a copy free from our website.


Monday, 29 April 2013

From Cleaning The Office to Training to Become a Midwife

My name is Marry Adam Koko. I am a Nuba coming from the Haiban tribe existed in eastern part of south Kordofan state. I’m number seven in my family of 4 girls and 5 boys.  Unfortunately although I’m the only one in the family who has a Sudanese certificate, I was not able to enter University. It was necessary for me to go out and earn money to help my father. 

We settled in Khartoum Al-fitemab village and I did a lot of casual work to earn money and help my family before joining Together for Sudan organization as a part-time cleaner in July 2012. 

My ambition has always been to complete my studies to find a better job or to acquire skills to enable me to work professionally.

I learnt about the midwifery scholarship during my work for TfS. I decided to apply because the training would develop me socially and I know that in my area there is an urgent need for trained women. There is only one midwife in our area and she is always busy.

Some of our midwives in training with Lillian, Mary is in the middle of the back row, standing next to Neimat, our in country coordinator.

“I hope sincerely, if I succeed in completing this course, to work honestly helping my people in the village where I reside and if the situations permit I would like to go back home at Nuba Mountains to disseminate the knowledge and deliver health messages and to educate my people about the family health and care.”
Thank you Together for Sudan. Without your support I would never had this opportunity.

The 2 year training scheme is supported by the government but Mary could not have joined as she is poor and needs uniform, special shoes, a special scarf, a bed sheet and some hostel accommodation together with help with some transport costs and food. Our supporters are funding Marry and another 9 women in this way. Thank you for your generosity.

Peter Hullah

Monday, 15 April 2013

Martina's Story

Martina will not be defeated
At Juba University, Martina, a young student, arrives early at the side door of the lecture theatre. Usually it’s standing room only and she wants to get a seat in her undergraduate class.

Born in Eastern Equatoria, with no father living, Martina was displaced by war as a young child, ending up in the barren settlements in the wasteland outside Khartoum.

She struggled to gain entry into a secondary school where she saw a notice on the board advertising support offered by Together for Sudan without any religious discrimination for displaced women. 

Martina was determined and after a rigorous interview, she emerged as one of our students. 

Her university moved back to Juba as South Sudan became independent in 2011 and Martina moved again. She now lives with her grandmother in a basic room outside the city and despite many interruptions she is continuing to study public administration.

Recently we met Martina with her hand on that Juba side door which will lead her to a brighter future. Nothing will defeat her.

Women's Education Partnership, as we are now called, has supported 261 other girls over the last 15 years at universities and vocational colleges,  all disadvantaged women, many from the Nuba Mountains.   

Martina was just one of the many remarkable people Alan Goulty, Lillian Craig Harris, Penny and I met on our April visit to Khartoum and Juba. We have seen first-hand some of our literacy, eye care and HIV/Aids projects in operation and listened to the women so that in our planning for projects we can act on what they tell us to do.  We have also had very joyful meetings with our scholars studying in Khartoum and Juba . Often having to struggle, they are working really hard to study so that they can find jobs and play a full part in the peaceful and healthy development of Sudan and South Sudan.

Watch this space for more Women’s Education Partnership (Together for Sudan) Good News Stories.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. There is much more we can do with your help.

Peter Hullah

Friday, 8 February 2013

Moving Forwards

Thank you, trustees of Together for Sudan for appointing me as your new Director. It is a great privilege to be asked to continue the remarkable work which Lillian Craig Harris and Alan Goulty have done in developing life changing projects for women in Sudan and South Sudan.

During the next two months I will be working closely with Lilian and Alan to prepare for a visit to our staff in both countries. In April we will travel  together to introduce me as the new director to our project leaders.

In the future, I see the role of Together for Sudan to be a partnership between generous donors, workers who are making things happen locally and the people who need help most. Developing this partnership in education will give us a renewed sense of purpose, building on the firm foundations of the past and responding positively to the challenges of the future.

This partnership will become even stronger as we listen carefully to the women who need us, try to remove the barriers to progress and plan quickly and act generously. Our first task will be to ensure that the projects which are running well are properly funded and well supported  in difficult times.

Through the generosity of our donors, there is so much going on which is life changing and my hope is that we continue to stay close to the women who are in need of educational support.

On our return from our visit to Sudan and South Sudan , Lillian and I will together write a news letter to introduce you to our friends in Africa and the hopes that we and they have for the future. We want to share more stories with you where Together has made a difference.

I have been a teacher and head teacher in challenging schools where pupils have needed education most and without education, talent would have been wasted.  I have seen first hand how education opens doors and makes a difference. As your new Director of Together for Sudan it is my dream that every education project and every Together for Sudan scholar should be Hopeful and I want Together for Sudan and our Partnership to be Hopeful in all that we do.

Thank you for your support and I look forward in Hope as working Together we grow stronger.

Thursday, 31 January 2013

A New Director Appointed

Peter Hullah - new Together for Sudan Director
Peter Hullah new TfS Director

The Trustees of Together for Sudan have appointed Peter Hullah, former Principal of Northampton Academy and senior educational advisor, to be their new Director, in succession to Lillian Craig Harris, who is stepping down for health reasons.  

Together for Sudan was founded in 1996 by Lillian Craig Harris in response to what Sudanese women told her about their need for education and health care services. Under her leadership Together for Sudan has supported over 250 Sudanese women to study at Sudanese and South Sudanese universities. It has expanded to undertake a range of other educational and health projects to benefit Sudanese women and children.  The Trustees are grateful to Lillian for all she has accomplished and she remains the Chair of Trustees.  Lillian says ‘I am delighted that Peter has been appointed. His energy, skills and experience will enable us to develop and expand our pioneering work.’

Peter’s first teaching post over 30 years ago was at a pioneering girl’s school in Uganda and since then he has been Chaplain of the King’s School, Canterbury and Head of Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. He has also visited schools in Africa to learn at first hand what it is which makes a truly ‘Hopeful School’ for its students and for the community it serves. Before moving to Northampton Academy, The Rt Rev Peter Hullah was Bishop of Ramsbury in the Diocese of Salisbury.  He chaired the Salisbury Diocesan Link with the Episcopal Church of Sudan. 

Peter says, ‘It is a great privilege to be asked to work with such a committed organization, striving to make a difference for women in Sudan and South Sudan who find difficulty accessing education. I look forward to developing Together for Sudan’s existing networks which seek to offer improved educational opportunities for women in Africa where there is the most acute need.’ He will take up his post on 1st February 2013.  Peter has told the Trustees that he is encouraged by what the charity has already achieved and looks forward to the challenge of mobilising further support to enable it to expand its work.

Together for Sudan focuses its work on developing educational opportunities for women in the recently reconfigured countries of Sudan and South Sudan.  Alongside its educational scholarships for women, it supports literacy classes, self-help schools, HIV/Aids and eye care projects, working with local partners in one of the most challenging areas of the world. Our work is inclusive, alongside people of all religions who are committed to the education of women.