Important Update, September 2023

Important Update, September 2023:

Update from Sudan

The war which broke out in Khartoum on 15 April is still continuing.  After together mounting a military coup in October 2021, the head of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the leader of the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) recently fell out and are now fighting each another, without regard for civilians caught in the crossfire.  Those with resources have fled abroad or to safer parts of the country, while those remaining in targeted areas are suffering from fear of violence and a breakdown in essential services. 

Prior to this crisis, Women’s Education Partnership had for 20 years provided funds to support the education (in schools, universities and literacy circles) of disadvantaged women and girls.  Some were refugees from earlier conflicts in Darfur, the Nuba Mountains and South Sudan, but all our Sudanese programmes have been based in and around the twin cities of Khartoum and Omdurman.  In the current dire circumstances of the war, schools and universities are closed, and our programmes are unavoidably paused.  However, we are in touch with a substantial proportion of our 150 university students, who are now dispersed around the country.  They have asked if WEP can provide online tuition to improve their English, since this is the medium of instruction in the universities.  It is hoped that, until they are able to reopen, the universities may provide online teaching of their degree courses.  Some of our South Sudanese students in Sudan have recently returned to their home country, with the aim of joining the University of Juba.

Update from South Sudan

We have supported literacy circles in South Sudan for several years, and our university scholarship programme for disadvantaged women was relaunched when post-conflict conditions in that country allowed.  An enthusiastic medical student at Juba Institute for Health Sciences has just finished her second year, with WEP having paid for her fees, uniform and laptop.  Fourteen other women have just completed their first year, mainly studying aspects of Health Science for a degree, a diploma or a certificate at one of six institutes in or near Juba.  Of the 14 women, ten are single and four are married.  All are over 22 years of age, and two are 34 years old.  This reflects the fact that their education was disrupted by the earlier conflicts in South Sudan.  Thus, WEP is addressing those most vulnerable, as several are also orphans or have only a mother, and all have no financial support from their families.

We are anxiously awaiting the opportunity to resume our literacy and teaching programmes in Sudan, but meanwhile we continue to do our best to support our Sudanese students, and are actively expanding our role in South Sudan.

Trustees of Women’s Education Partnership

War in Sudan, April 2023

Dear friends, supporters and sponsors,

As you will know from the dreadful news, intense fighting and bombardment has broken out in Sudan between two military factions. The ongoing war is particularly intense on the streets of the nation’s capital Khartoum, where our aid staff and their families are based. There and elsewhere the violence has caused immense suffering with countless lives lost and many more injured or displaced from their homes. The effect of the war has been particularly cruel and devastating during the holy month of Ramadan.

We are very relieved to report that, at the time of writing, all our staff are safe, though some of them have been forced to flee their homes. We express our profound gratitude to all of them. They have demonstrated great presence of mind, professionalism and courage over the past days. Women’s Education Partnership has worked in Sudan for well over two decades. During this time, our Sudanese team and partners in Khartoum have weathered many storms. Nothing, however, comes anywhere close to the humanitarian tragedy now engulfing the country during this, the holiest of months in the Islamic calendar.

The work that all charities are carrying out to provide much needed assistance and support in Sudan has been jeopardised by the present conflict. As an educational charity, we are especially sad to see the disruption suffered to the education of young people as they approach the end of their academic year. All schooling has ceased and universities are closed.

We are rigorously impartial and therefore cannot comment on or engage in any discussion on the political dimensions of the current crisis. But it is abundantly clear that it is time for the two sides to come together and seek a peaceful resolution to their differences. It is only through dialogue and negotiation that lasting peace can be achieved.

Thank you for your understanding during these very difficult times.

The Trustees and volunteers of
Women’s Education Partnership

Our work in South Sudan continues and has fortunately not been affected by this crisis, so far

Please also see the excellent women’s literacy blog, link here: 

Celebrating International Literacy Day, November 2022

Women’s Education Partnership was delighted to be able to bring together women from all fifteen of our Khartoum literacy circles in November in a joyful retrospective tribute to International Literacy Day and the life-changing work of all our women’s literacy workers and participants.

You can see some of the highlights from the celebrations on our blog by clicking this link

The Big Give Christmas Challenge returns for 2022

The Big Give Christmas Campaign 2022

Women’s Education Partnership is delighted to announce that the Coles-Medlock Foundation will champion our charity during this year’s Christmas Challenge event promising to double our match pot fundraising to nearly £17,000.

We are a small charity run by volunteers. The Coles-Medlock Foundation support for our fundraising means a great deal to us and to the deprived women and girls in Sudan and South Sudan to whom our projects give life-changing opportunities through education.

Women’s Education Partnership thanks the Coles-Medlock Foundation for this most generous act, augmenting the pledges we have raised and giving us the opportunity to expand our work even more than we dared hope through The Big Give Christmas Campaign

When the Big Give Christmas Challenge campaign gets underway on 29 November – 6 December we will put up a link to enable donors to donate to  WEP through TBG so that the value of their donation will be doubled.

Update on Impact of 2021 Flooding, April 2022

Sudan witnessed heavy rains and floods 2021 which affected the whole country especially the poor people. WEP is working in a very fragile area where most houses and schools are built of mud and straws and roofed with plastic mats and mud, so, the area was seriously affected by the flood. Namely the schools that are supported by WEP. A quick survey was conducted by WEP staff to estimate the damages. 4 out of the 10 supported schools witnessed great damages.  As 2 classes were completely wrecked and the teachers’ office collapsed at a school in Salaam village at Jabal Awlia locality. All the teachers were gathered in a small office which was also half collapsed at the back wall.  2 classes at another school at a neighbourhood which was one a displaced camp at Sharq Elneel locality also collapsed, the roofs of the 2 classes were stripped off. A wall of a 3rd school at Dar elsalam B 52 at Umbadda locality fall down as well as 2 classrooms half collapsed. Also a school at Dar elsalam B 34 drowned in the water as the school yard was very law so the rain water covered it inside and surrounded it from outside which causes 2 classrooms walls to collapse as well as the head mistress office.

WEP took another tour in the affected schools accompanied by a construction technician to estimate the amount of the damage and the needed intervene.  WEP provided the materials, and with the assistance   of the schools heads and the parents committees WEP succeed to rehabilitate the schools before the study year started.

The initiative was highly appreciated by the schools’ heads and staff. They were so happy with it. It really made a difference, at Jihad school at Dar elsalam B 34 they said about 13 teachers were using the same office including the headmistress, as they left their office for fear to collapse on their heads at any time.  So the new office provided a good solution.

Update on Covid, March 2022

In order to reduce the outbreak of COVID-19, Women’s Education Partnership adopted a policy of stay at home in 2020 & 2021 with some office work when required. Universities and schools were closed by the government in February 2022 for a month and only upper classes (grade 8,6 & 3rd grade at secondary school) were exempted and WEP also closed literacy circles especially the majority of women in literacy circles are older who live in the out skirt of Khartoum where healthy services are very poor, we advised them to stay at home. WEP was able to respond to disaster by supply its beneficiaries with the protection materials including Dettol soaps, sanitizers and face masks. During the distributions of these materials, awareness sessions about the prevention of disease were conducted by WEP staff, literacy facilitators, and WEP sponsored university students.   

Neimat’s January Message, January 2022

We would like to welcome our new staff member Hoyam Isameldin Hassan, who joined WEP as a Part-Time project administrator responsible for under graduate students. Hoyam herself was a WEP sponsored student, graduated last year and is doing well in her work, which prove that our support for undergraduate young women is fruitful. Despite all the challenges faced by WEP staff due to civil unrest, WEP continues to provide it is services.

The economic situation

Life became unsecure with an increase in the crimes especially in the edges of Khartoum where WEP is operating/providing services.

The work environment became unsafe with the on-going demonstrations which are confronted by violence; tearing bombs enters sometimes our office, since it is located near the demonstration gathering point, therefore return home while demonstrations took place is a risk.

A great challenge related to the devaluation of the Sudanese pounds which affected us badly no matter personally or at work level. With an un-preceded increase in the prices whether of food, medicine, house rent, transportation, school fees or other expenses, let alone entertainment, cloths and social contacts which become as luxury, as at work level the prices of the stationeries, rents, electricity, fuel and the net are beyond reason.