Wednesday, 5 December 2012

More Good News from Khartoum

The oft-postponed operations day finally took place at the Bashir hospital in the Mayo suburb of Khartoum in mid-November.  355 patients were seen of whom 300 received medicines, mostly eye-drops and vitamins.  48 operations were recommended and carried out, of which 29 were for cataracts and the remainder miscellaneous surgeries.  The follow-up day to review the patients who underwent the operations will be on 13 December.

Here are some photos of some of the patients.

Deng Yoor 14 month has Ophthalmoglegia and complete Ptosis
Deng Yoor 14 month has Ophthalmoglegia and complete Ptosis 

Rogia Fateh Alrahman 75 year old she has Glaucoma in both eyes
Rogia Fateh Alrahman 75 year old she has Glaucoma in both eyes 

Mary Maytout 23 years old from South Sudan she has cornia and Ptosis
Mary Maytout 23 years old from South Sudan she has cornia and Ptosis 

Abeker Dafallah Abutemon 39 years old has Glaucouma
Abeker Dafallah Abutemon 39 years old has Glaucouma  

Waiting their turn for an operation all of them for Cataracts
Waiting their turn for an operation all of them for Cataracts 

Encouraging News

Encouraging report today from our colleagues in Khartoum that our women’s literacy classes are now working well after some initial problems over venues and class timings.  Now we have 19 classes working in the suburbs of Khartoum and Omdurman, for women who have been displaced, mostly from the Nuba Mountains and western Sudan (Darfur).  Our monitoring in November showed an average attendance of 22 at the classes, which are held three times a week.  The photo shows our largest class at Wad al Bashir, a suburb of Omdurman.  We hope that at the end of their course in March 2014, the women will be able to tackle the government’s basic literacy exam.

Women prepare for a literacy exam in Omdurman Sudan

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Why I Support.......

A quote from a generous sponsor of one of our university scholars at Ahfad University:

Much can be done - given the chance
“Over twenty five years ago I went to Sudan as a very young and very inexperienced teacher to work in a girls’ secondary school. I was humbled both by the immense generosity and kindness of the girls I had the blessing to meet there and their determination, often despite incredible personal hardship, to continue their education, become qualified and go on to serve their community. They knew instinctively that education was liberating and empowering and treasured every moment they had at school. Sadly, because of their family circumstances, so few of them were able to go to university.

Education empowers and that is why I was so happy to help Together for Sudan in its essential work in building educational programs and in particular, by helping a young woman from the Nuba Mountains to go to university. It is personally thrilling to be able to follow her progress and feel that in a small way I have helped repay my debt to the people of Sudan.”

Learn more about our University Scholarship Project

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Zamzam Success

Our colleagues are now all back at work in Khartoum after ten days’ holiday for the Eid (including two weekends!).  They report another successful eye care outreach, which was held at Zamzam pre-school in the Haj Yousif suburb of Khartoum North on 31 October. 

104 patients were seen including 61 children.  71 received medicines and 8 were referred for corrective lenses.  11 operations were recommended of which 3, all cataract surgeries, were carried out in the Jubra Clinic on 4 November. 

Thanks to all those involved and to our generous donors.

Learn more about our TfS eye care project here

Monday, 8 October 2012

Eye Care

Our Khartoum office report two further eye care outreaches on 21 and 30 September in remote areas outside Khartoum and Omdurman. A total of 244 patients were seen of whom 152 received medicines, mainly eye drops, 43 were given eye glasses, 47 were sent for examinations to ensure that the correct lenses were prescribed and 30 operations were recommended, several of which have already been carried out. 
Eye operated on
A 20 year old patient was operated on by Dr Nabila on 
the day of the outreach to remove a foreign body.

The need for this service is undiminished and we give our warmest thanks to Dr Nabila Radi and her assistants for carrying out the work in hot and difficult conditions.

Glaucoma patient requires eye drops
A 52 year old patient who has suffered from Glaucoma
for a long time and will need to use eye drops
for the rest of his life.

We are planning an operations day in a clinic outside Khartoum but this has had to be postponed more than once because of the unavailability of the necessary facilities.  We hope to mount this outreach in the course of October.  

Eye patient
Dr Nabila operated on this patient on the 
day of the outreach. 

Meanwhile the funds generously donated by two European charities, Dark and Light and Light for the World, are almost exhausted.  We are urgently seeking funds to enable us to continue this vital work.  Can you help us?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Fulla Falls Basic School Update

Lillian and I visited Fulla Falls we were shocked to learn that the school premises which had been used by the school since its foundation in 1999 had been bulldozed.  The school is now operating under straw shelters, which are so close together that one class hears everything said in the class next door. The teachers deserve great credit for carrying on in these very difficult circumstances.  The pre-school has its own small compound a short distance away and is better off, though as the photos show conditions are still basic.

Children of Fulla Falls School Grade 2
Children of Fulla Falls School Grade 2

It seems that the government want to expropriate and develop the land at Soba Aradi, which is relatively close to Khartoum and to the new US Embassy at Soba. The people do not know what will become of them but expect to be relocated either to a distant area south of Khartoum or an even more remote area called Al Fateh 2 north-west of Omdurman. Both lack even basic facilities.

Pre - School children from Fulla Falls School
Children of the Fulla Falls Pre- School

The school expects to move with the majority of the people to whichever of these sites is chosen. They do not know whether the government will make land available there for the school, nor whether they will receive any compensation.

Girl students at Fulla Falls School
The education of girls is vitally important

At present our support is much appreciated to help the school survive. We shall need to consider what more might be done in due course to enable the school to continue in its new location. But they need to discover first where they will go and to plan the move.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Jebel Aulia

Izdihar reports from Khartoum on the latest eye care outreach at Jebel Aulia on 5th July.  Dr Nabila who regularly works with us examined 93 patients, prescribed medicine for 63, and recommended 9 for operations which carried out in the following week.  10 patients in all received glasses.

The TfS Eye Care Project

Meet just three of the people that Together for Sudan saw in this eye care outreach.

Mudathir Sefdin, 12 years old, has a squint which needs surgery

Fatima Fadul, 2 year old, came from Kosti city south of Khartoum.  She had trauma in her right eye and needed a scan which costs 250 Sudanese pounds

Nafahat Awad Almahadi is 10 years old.  It is difficult for her to see during the day.  She has been referred to Macca hospital for specialist treatment

Please help us to continue to help people such as these by making a donation to Together for Sudan, even a little can make a big difference. Please click here to learn more about making a donation.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

TfS Graduate Attends the St Gallans Symposium

Nagla at the entrance to the symposium

One of the Nuba graduates from TFS’ scholarship programme generously funded by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Nagla Abbo, recently attended the 42nd symposium at St Gallen, Switzerland  for young leaders of tomorrow.  She is only the second Sudanese to have been honored by such an invitation. The topic of the discussion was Managing Risk.  Nagla says that risks should be seen as positive uncertainties and not as unavoidable evils.  She believes that the days spent in St Gallen with 200 other young people from all over the world , as well as many of today’s leaders, surely challenged her way of looking at her own society, culture and life, and will broaden her perspectives.  Overall she found the symposium “an awesome experience”.

This is but one example of how the scholarship programme can open doors for young Sudanese women.  TFS is very grateful to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for having sponsored not only Nagla’s studies but also her nomination to the symposium.  And we thank the St Gallen organizers for accepting Nagla and for all their hospitality to her and the other participants.

Nagla is one of 244 graduates from the scholarship programme so far.  TFS is sponsoring a further 122 scholars, with generous support from the Gordon Memorial College Trust Fund and Humanity United as well as the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.  Sadly we do not have funds at present for new awards, though the demand is high and we are receiving a steady flow of enquiries from Sudanese students keen to further their education at the university level in Sudan and South Sudan.  Can you help us meet this demand?

Learn about donating to Together for Sudan

Learn more about our University Scholarship Project

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Eye Care in Soba Aradi

In two eye care outreaches in the suburbs of Omdurman and Khartoum at the end of April 2012 patients were seen of whom 140 were prescribed medicines, 50 received glasses, and 55 were recommended for operations, most of which have since been performed.  Many thanks to Dr Nabila and her colleagues for their work for the displaced needing eye care in the Khartoum area.

Women from Soba Aradi wait after eye surgery

One of these women was operated on for Glaucoma
and the other had a foreign body removed. 

This foreign body was removed from a patients eye
Our funding for eye care outreaches is running out so to keep this vital work going we need donations. Please donate to TfS, there is a button to donate on line through the blog but you can find out more from the donations page on our website. Please click here for the link.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Eye Care Outreach in Um Ruwaba

The crowd masses before the eye care outreach starts
Our Khartoum office report the conclusion of a very successful week-long eye care outreach at Um Ruwaba in North Kordofan state, near the border with the Nuba Mountains.  Sadly continued fighting made it impossible to conduct the outreach in Talodi, in the Nuba Mountains, as we had planned.  We chose Um Ruwaba instead because it has a large population of people displaced by the fighting in South Kordofan.  The outreach was conducted by a medical team from Khartoum assisted by staff from Um Ruwaba and a team of volunteers from the Sudanese Red Crescent.  Our project coordinator, Saudi Abdul Rahman, had his hands full to ensure that everything worked smoothly!
The Optician was checking people sight so as to distribute reading glasses

The doctor carefully performs a sight saving operation
During the week 1692 patients (well above the targeted 1000) were examined and 160 operations performed, including 142 cataract surgeries.  A further 55 operations were recommended and will be carried out during a follow up visit at the end of May.  It is worth noting that this was the first occasion on which our new operating microscope was used and that it worked very well.  This microscope replaced that stolen from our Kadugli office by looters last June and was part-funded by a grant from the Canadian Embassy in Khartoum.  The outreach itself was supported by a grant from two European charities, Dark and Light, and Light for the World.  Many thanks to all our donors.
An old woman was waiting to see a doctor and she fell a sleep due to fatigue.
An old woman waiting to see a doctor fell a sleep due to fatigue.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

A Special Opportunity

The forthcoming retirement of Together for Sudan's founding Director offers an opportunity for a qualified volunteer to take over the lead in our work to help Sudanese women and children.

Candidates should be flexible , patient, and courageous as well as able to engage sensitively with people in Sudan and South Sudan. They may be male or female and should have some experience of fund-raising, advocacy and liaison with donors.

They must be willing to visit Sudan and South Sudan at least twice a year (expenses will be paid). Working closely with TFS Trustees the new Director will promote, develop and administer a growing charity dedicated to the education and medical needs of marginalized women and children, which is supported by Friends Together for Sudan, a US charity.

The Director will be expected to work from his/her home or office for a minimum of 16 hours a week, reporting to TFS Trustees and keeping in close contact by email with TFS colleagues in Khartoum and Juba, managing as well as monitoring their work.

The Director will have considerable autonomy. (S)he should therefore have a good track record as a self-starter and preferably with some knowledge of Sudan and South Sudan. Willingness to adopt and take forward the ethos of the charity's founders will be key.

A more detailed description of the position can be downloaded here.

Interviews are expected to be held in central London during July 2012.

Applicants should send their details by June 20th to:

Malcolm Grundy (TfS Trustee),
4 Portal Road, 
York YO26 6BQ.   


Thursday, 19 April 2012

A Fortunate Meeting

TfS Trustees were fortunate to meet on 13 April  Ms Islam Ali (on the left) and Mrs Martina Yanga for an in-depth discussion of how Sudanese residents of the UK can help the work of Together for Sudan in both Sudan and South Sudan.

Ms Islam Ali (left) and Mrs Martina Yanga
It is noteworthy that thanks to an initiative by Islam Ali two teachers in a self-help school in Omdurman are already being supported by the NGO, Children of Sudan.  Many thanks to them.  And a warm welcome to anyone willing to join in supporting this important work.

Please contact us through our enquiries e-mail:

Thursday, 22 March 2012

A Teacher for Kenneth Fraser

Our Khartoum office report that a generous Sudanese donor has offered to fund a teacher in one of the self-help schools for the displaced in the Khartoum area.  We have chosen the Kenneth Fraser school in Omdurman to benefit from this support. The school has lost many students and 6 teachers who have recently moved to the South, but is still working with some 300 pupils, mostly displaced from Darfur and Kordofan, and 12 teachers.

It is interesting to note that the school is named for Dr Kenneth Fraser, a medical missionary from Scotland, who ran away from home at the age of 14 to join the army and eventually retired as a major-general in the army medical corps.  He moved to South Sudan in 1920 and died in Lui after 15 years’ medical missionary work among the Moru people.  It seems fitting that a school should still commemorate his legacy of service.

We hope that others will be moved to join the supporters of schools for the displaced in Sudan.

Learn about making a donation to Together for Sudan

The Teacher Training and Support Project

Scholarships for Elementary Education

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Closing day of Literacy Training

Our Khartoum office reports the successful conclusion of the training course for literacy teachers.  One of the trainers commented that the trainees were highly motivated and had participated effectively in the training programme.
See the start of this training here.

The British Embassy representative participated in the training too. 
Teacher Leila went on to say that she was sure that all the trainees were qualified and motivated to set up and run their own literacy classes.

The trainees come from all areas surrounding the three towns which make up the Sudanese capital and should therefore be able to ensure a wide availability of classes for displaced women.
Trainers and Trainees proudly pose with their certificates.

The challenge now for Together for Sudan is to mobilize resources to support at least 20 of these classes.  Each class, for 20 women, will cost us around 50 pounds a month.

Can you help ?
If you can help please donate what every you can spare.

Learn about making a donations to Together for Sudan    or

Donate online now with a credit or debit card using our Paypal charity account

Friday, 16 March 2012

International Woman's Day

Neimat speaking at the British Embassy 
Together for Sudan was well represented at the celebration of International Women’s Day organized this month by the British Embassy in Khartoum.  Country Coordinator, Mrs Neimat Hussein, gave the first speech, focusing on the literacy teachers’ training organized by Together for Sudan and funded by the British Embassy.  She also gave an interview to a local TV station.
Fatihia, Mona, Eman, and Muahib,  literacy teachers attended he celebration

Five of the trainees also attended and briefed the participants on their experience of the training.
Please consider supporting our Women's Literacy Project, to learn more click here.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

More Good News From Khartoum

“ Good news today from Khartoum!  One of our Nuba graduates, Ms Naglaa Yacoub Abbo, has been awarded a scholarship to attend the prestigious St Gallen symposium next May.  The symposium at the University of St Gallen in Switzerland brings together 600 thinkers and decision-makers with 200 talented young personalities to develop solutions to key issues of our time.  Naglaa has been invited as one of these 200 ‘leaders of tomorrow’ from all over the world.  This year’s symposium has the title “Facing Risk”.  That’s something with which Nuba women are all too familiar!

Naglaa graduated last year with a BSc (Honours) from the Faculty of Rural Extension, Education and Development at Ahfad University for Women in Omdurman.  Her degree project was on Violence against Women.  Her university fees were met by Together for Sudan thanks to the generous grant from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, who also nominated Naglaa for the St Gallen event.  Many thanks to the Foundation for their interest and support.

This award to Naglaa is also a recognition of the work of Together for Sudan and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for the education of women in Africa.  Thank you to our friends at St Gallen.”

Monday, 12 March 2012

Literacy from Lambeth

In October 2011 Together for Sudan held a charitable auction event to raise funds for its work in Sudan. Through the kindness of many people around £10,000.00 was raised some of which has now been spent on our Womens Literacy Project in Khartoum.
Neimat Hussain of the Khartoum TfS project centre reports below.

"The literacy training is going on well, Saudi had accompanied the trainees to Alfateh -2 (Philip’s class) yesterday to practice what they have acquired from the training course. It was absolutely enjoyable for both the trainers and trainees, because every person was put into practice.

A TfS trainee practices her newly learned skills.

One of the course enrollees’ acquired the skills of reading and writing in just four months".

This is not unusual with the right training. The provision of literacy is a key skill that enhances and enables marginalised Sudanese women. You can help us to keep this vital training project going by making a donation either online or directly to our treasurer.

Please click here to learn more.

The opportunity to provide this training was made possible by the kindness of those donating and bidding at our Lambeth Auction event all the trustees of Together for Sudan are truly grateful for the generosity of all those that took part in that event - Thank you all.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Embassy Grant Update

 Baha el Din Mohamed seen addressing the trainees.
The training of 30 literacy teachers in the Reflect method started today in our Khartoum office, with a bunch of very enthusiastic and interested trainees. The training is being funded by a generous grant from the British Embassy, whose representative, Baha el Din Mohamed is seen in this photo addressing the trainees during their first session. The training will last two weeks. Thereafter we expect the trainees to set up classes for women using the meeting facilities of self-help schools and community centres in the displaced areas around Khartoum.

Check out some pictures of this on our Facebook Page.

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.