Help our local partners realise their vision of hope for their communities
Within Sudan, HART works in Blue Nile state and South Kordofan state, widely known as the “Two Areas”. Whilst situated north of the border separating Sudan and South Sudan, those living in the Two Areas mostly identify with the South. When Blue Nile and South Kordofan were not allowed to participate in the 2011 referendum to create South Sudan, they were promised a vote on autonomy that was never delivered, instead suffering sustained genocidal policies for the next 8 years until former President Omar-al Bashir was ousted in April 2019.
Advancing access to education in Sudan remains the top priority for HART’s partners in the Two Areas. After 3 decades of civil war, access to education in the Two Areas is extremely limited or non-existent. During the successive wars, two generations lost out on their opportunity to get an education and are therefore more determined than ever to ensure that their children do not suffer the same fate. The people of Sudan are clear on their country’s path to development – investing in education, learning not only how to read and write but also developing skills such as carpentry, mechanics and construction. However, pupils have no textbooks, and virtually no exercise books or pencils. Teachers are untrained and limited in number. They are being asked to work voluntarily, with little-to-no financial incentives.
In Blue Nile, HART is working with our partner, the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) on a significant project which will see 30 local teachers trained, 10 primary schools receiving educational resources such as exercise books and pencils, and the repairment of a local primary school. Through these outputs, NSCC is hoping to encourage poorer children to go to school, incentivise teachers to continue teaching, decrease dropout rates and generally improve the quality and accessibility of local education.
In the Nuba Mountains region (South Kordofan), there are only ten secondary schools. For decades, the former conflict zone’s citizens suffered marginalization, discrimination and brutal attacks. In 2011, foreign aid organisations were banned from operating in the area and the Khartoum Government continued to aerially bomb and shell innocent civilians, targeting schools, hospitals and marketplaces. Today, local people show tremendous resourcefulness in organising these few schools, with Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) playing a crucial role as they receive no support from the Government of Sudan. Moreover, recent relative peace in the country (possible after former President al-Bashir fell) has only placed greater pressure on already over-stretched resources as people start to return to their ancestral land.
HART’s partner, the Nuba Relief & Rehabilitation Development Organisation (NRRDO) has identified personal hygiene for school-aged girls as a priority. Displaced women and girls face severe hardship during menstruation, and this can impact girls’ attitude towards attending school. Girls in this region can often miss a whole week of school per month to avoid the embarrassment, discomfort and physical irritation that comes with not having sanitary products. With so many people displaced, there is limited access to basic washing services, intensifying this issue and leading to preventable water-borne diseases within the region. Currently, NRRDO is implementing a HART-funded project which not only provides ‘dignity kits’ to young girls at school (containing sanitary products, underwear and soap) but also provides educational workshops for the community to bust any myths associated with menstruation that stigmatises the issue and further isolates young women. The workshops also shed light on general sanitation and hygiene, such as the need to use boreholes for drinking water and crucially, the need to wash hands regularly to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.
If you wish to support these causes, please donate here and quote ‘Sudan education’.