The work which became The Women's Education Partnership began in 1996 and originally focused on providing university scholarships for women from Sudan’s Nuba Mountains, a deprived area from which only a handful of women had graduated from university. Initially known as The Bishop Mubark Fund for Nuba Women after a well-loved Nuba bishop who died that year, this work expanded rapidly in both scope and practice and in 2005 was merged with Together for Sudan, another small charity set up while Dr. Lillian Craig Harris was living in Sudan as the wife of British Ambassador Alan Goulty. Together for Sudan has been a registered British charity since 2000.
The Women's Education partnership has no religious affiliations and is supported by Muslims and Christians living in Sudan and abroad as well as by various funding organizations abroad. Among well known Patrons of the charity are the Dr. Rowan Williams, the British Ambassador to Sudan, Dr Rosalind Marsden CMG, former Sudanese Ambassador to the UK, Dr. Hasan Abdin, Sudanese elder statesman Maulana Abel Alier, Sudanese surgeon Dr Zakieddin Ahmed, American publisher Lynne Rienner, Sudanese British businessman Dr. Mohamed Ibraham and physician Dr. Hania Fadl, and a great supporter of our work, Dr Gasim Bedri, President of Ahfad University for Women in Omdurman.
Initially WEP worked only in the settlements for some two million displaced persons in the Khartoum area but expanded in 2002 to the Nuba Mountains of Southern Kordofan and in 2005 to Darfur where it is currently engaged in women’s literacy training. We also have small projects in both Juba and Abyei in southern Sudan. Our work is primarily with women and children and in all three areas we have forged strong partnerships at the request of displaced and/or destitute people.
There are two WEP project centres at present, in the Khartoum area and in Kadugli in the Nuba Mountains. The charity has no premises outside Sudan and its only paid aid workers are Sudanese in the two WEP project centres. Support for the charity involves donations from friends in Europe, Britain in particular, and in the United States as well as Sudan.
"Power to the Powerless through Education"
The Women's Education Partnership aims to secure a better future for disadvantaged Sudanese and South Sudanese women and their children by providing educational support without religious or ethnic discrimination.
The Women's Education Partnership will work where allowed in Sudan or South Sudan and expands its projects and geographical reach as funding and management permit. Any project or programme which educates or supports the education of Sudanese or South Sudanese women and children living in Sudan or South Sudan is within our scope including technical, vocational, medical and paramedical training. Male children may benefit from us but adult male education other than vocational training, is outside our mandate, as are theological education and education outside Sudan or South Sudan.
- Women’s literacy classes
- University scholarships in Sudan and South Sudan
- Educational scholarships for orphans whose families are afflicted by HIV/AIDS
- Solar lighting panels for literacy classes, community centres and clinics
- Crucial medical care, in particular for women and children, through the Eye Care Outreach projects
- HIV/AIDS community awareness outreach; support to people living with HIV/AIDS
- Teacher training and support programmes; Paying for teachers’ salaries in self-help schools for displaced children. We monitor progress carefully
"Building Peace through Service"
We strive to unite different ethnic and religious backgrounds in community service for the promotion of community reconciliation.
Women's Education Partnership Believes in:
- Education as a human right
- The empowerment of women for a better future
- Responding to what marginalised people, women in particular, say they need
- Respecting people of different religious and ethnic backgrounds
- Personal and community empowerment through service
- Promoting volunteerism
- Provision of basic medical and other support to foster education
- Combating HIV/AIDS through education
- Marginalised, displaced and illiterate Sudanese and South Sudanese women
- Marginalised and displaced young women seeking university education in Sudan or South Sudan
- Children from destitute or displaced families
- Communities with no affordable medical resources
- Teachers in self-help basic schools
- Community organisations in settlements for displaced persons
- People living with HIV/AIDS and HIV/AIDS orphans
Achievements - From the Beginning
- Women’s literacy classes now at 40 sites in Khartoum, the Nuba Mountains and setting up in Darfur
- Graduation of more than 2,250 women from literacy classes
- Enrolment of nearly 300 students in Sudan universities
- Graduation of 224 women scholars from Sudan universities by 2012
- Payment of basic and kindergarten teachers’ salaries in 32 self-help schools.
- 150 educational scholarships for AIDS orphans
- Installation of nearly 30 solar lighting panels in support of education, 9 in the Nuba Mountains.
- Examination of more than 6500 individuals yearly by the Eye Care Project which also provides free reading glasses, medicines and eye surgery in excess of 670 cases.
- Provision of basic medicines to communities with no other access to health services
- Funding for over 120 AIDS orphans at basic and secondary schools
- Unique HIV/AIDS Awareness project which reaches over 15,000 people each year in the Khartoum vicinity