SUDAN, Nyala, West Darfur
When people ask me why I do the job I do, I think of the challenges our children face every day. It still shocks me that 80% of our school-age kids don’t go to school. Or that 50% of our youth today hasn’t made it through education. We have 5000 street children; many of them sniff glue. Often, girls as young as 13 fall pregnant.
Many of these issues are linked to the civil war which has forced tens of thousands of people to leave their villages, and relocate to IDP camps. We work in five of them, providing education and psychosocial support; helping people to find a livelihood, promoting child rights and delivering skills training.
In 2011, we reached 30,000 people. And we’re getting busier all the time. Why? Because we have built the capacity of our staff by investing in their skills. We have got better at managing our programmes and now work as a team so we’re delivering better results and generating more funding.
These days we have to travel all over Darfur. Not long ago, while on our way to visit a project, we came face-to-face with a group of armed men on the road ahead. But rather than panicking or trying to speed past we knew exactly what to do.
We slowed down and stopped the car. We complied with all of the gunmen’s requests and they let us go. It was RedR’s security training which saved our lives – and enables all of our staff to travel across Darfur to serve the people who rely on our services.
People like Mohamed Ali and his wife Zafra from Otash camp. Their five children are now all attending school thanks to CDF. This wasn’t the case back in 2007. Mohamed and Zafra’s kids worked in the local market as wheelbarrow pushers, taking people’s shopping home and making 1SDG (24p) per day.
But, after many months of negotiation, CDF’s social workers convinced Mohamed and his wife to send all five kids to school. Now, all of the Ali children are in full-time education. Mohamed has even started evening classes and is learning how to read and write. And he has joined the local child protection network, helping to advocate for children’s rights, too.
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Photo: Karameldin Adam (left) with children supported by CDF © RedR