Sunday, October 27, 2013

HIV/AIDS Outreach at Juba University Sponsored by the Women's Education Partnership

Sarah from NWERO Speaks
Sarah from NWERO (national women empowerment and rehabilitation organisation) talking to over 70 students at an outreach on the Juba University campus. This one of a series of 12 outreaches we are promoting in the town and out in the country. 

In the feedback many students said that his kind of information giving open forum was much appreciated.

HIV/AIDS facititators
Sarah with the trained NWERO team selected today to deliver this important outreach.  A university   lecturer who attended said how valuable this outreach was for students who are the future of South Sudan. 

Sarah answering questions towards the end of the session about relationships

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Adult Literacy with NRC in Terekeka

The partnership is launched with the Norwegian Refugee Council and WEP to deliver and monitor 2 adult literacy classes for women in Terekeka. 

The journey was tough on very poor roads to a neglected part of South Sudan. I am celebrating in Terekeka with Ayoume Elly, the NRC local coordinator who with his team has set up our joint project. Ayoume Elly used to be head of a girls school in Yei and understands our aims well. 

Peter our director with Ayoume Elly 

To visit the adult literacy project - women teaching women basic skills in speaking and writing. The rural two-class project is organised and monitored by the Norwegian Refugee Council and sponsored this year by a generous WEP donor. We were amazed at what we saw after travelling for 4 hours to a place where locals have had a troubled past. Terekeka is a forgotten area with many education and social problems especially for women. The literacy project, taught by two women teachers from the community who are being trained locally, serves 99 adults, 68 women and 31 men. 
A forgotten area

Women led the question and answer session

It was a large class taught by Veronica. The curriculum will include literacy and numeracy together with life skills ( teaching among other things, peace education, gender issues and trauma counselling ) and if the project runs for two years , those attending will make the equivalent of 4 years progress at primary school. We have funding for the first year at present.

Learning is serious business

Adult literacy is important to the life of the community

The class thanked us for not neglecting them - they said they really wanted to learn, to speak English and to be able to read and write.

Eager to Learn

Women are very eager to learn
The questions were about how to balance time between child care, cooking and coming to class. Also in a hot place they asked for water to be made available more easily as the classes run from 2 to 5 in the afternoon.

Attendance is very important
Babies slept in goat skins
One woman combines child care and learning effectively
Women in the upper class greeted us with singing 

Basic Adult Literacy in Lojora Terekeka

Penny congratulating Abalo Vicky, the teacher of the class for first level speaking. The men and women have difficult writing and English is very much a foreign language

Penny congratulating Abalo Vicky

Friday, October 25, 2013

Rosa and Martina at Juba University

Rosa and Martina are willing to work hard to succeed
Rosa ( left ) came south from Khartoum in the middle of her science studies. She wants to be a microbiologist but the course is hard as there are hardly any facilities  for practical work at the university. However, now in her fourth year, she is a strong person and on her own found  work experience in the laboratory of the  South Sudan Beverage Company at the brewery. Her advice to her sister Women's Education Partnership scholars " Be serious about your studies and don't  give up."

Majdolin at Juba University Celebrating being a Women's Education Partnership Scholar

Majdolin celebrates with a smile
Majdolin is in her 4th year at the university studying medicine. She started in Khartoum on a Together for Sudan scholarship then moved South after the independence of South Sudan. She had no chance of going to university without the scholarship. "There are problems to overcome - sometimes we have no books but since being a teenager I wanted to be a doctor and I am continuing. " Her Women's Education Partnership scholarship ( WEP is our new name ) friends elected her as their representative when we met them and Majdolin plans to make sure our group of girls stay in touch with each other and support each other as they study. 

Women's Education Partnership at Juba University

Women's Education Partnership University Students in Juba
Seven of our scholarship undergraduates come together at the university. I addition, on the left, Donna is a scholarship graduate who after studying law, is now working in the judiciary. She has aspirations to become a judge and her advice to her friends was "Be serious about your studies and finish your education - never give up despite the problems. Thank you for the help. I would never have made it without my scholarship ".

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Meeting a Remarkable Pioneer for Women's Education in South Sudan

Peter our Director and Joy Kwaje South Sudanese MP
For Joy as she pioneers women's education through her role as an MP in parliament in South Sudan, Lillian is her role model for passion and for volunteering. 

Joy confirmed that our agenda to help women was very much her agenda as she develops the new country of South Sudan.

"Women's Education Partnership, beginning to work on small scale education projects to support disadvantaged and refugee women, could not have come at a better time for us ".

She looks forward to staying close to all we do and she is very much a friend of WEP.

A talking point :- in South Sudan, out of 332 members of Parliament, 94 are women .....
Other countries take note .........

Kimu Connection
The Government Polio vaccination team use Kimu as a base

At Kimu Clinic

Kimu Clinic Tecnicians with Silas
Silas, a long term friend of the Women's Education Partnership is surrounded by his cheerful team of lab technicians at Kimu Health Centre, Juba. These  ladies know that their detective skills will make a difference to the way the community becomes healthy. 

Women arrive at Kimu clinic with their children
The Health Centre run by Silas Jojo and supported by WEP is a lifeline for community health 
The operating theatre at Kimu clinic
The equipment has arrived thanks to very generous donations from our supporters. It's almost ready to be used and Silas predicts that the first operation will take place here this weekend.
In response to donations of equipment, the community have gathered funds to buy an air conditioning unit. This is real Partnership working at Kimu.

Kimu Clinic Juba

Emanuelle and Mum 
At Kimu health centre brave four year old Emmanuelle, watched by her anxious mother Stella ,receives an injection via a cannula to treat pneumonia. Kimu is a local health clinic on the outskirts of Juba , supported by Women's Education Partnership. The clinic brings health to the women and children of a disadvantaged and poor community of refugees.
All smiles now
All smiles after the injection is over. With the support Kimu receives from partners and friends, including WEP, the clinic is able to raise levels of health for the local community. 


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Landing in Juba

Just coming in to land at Juba, South Sudan
The President of Sudan was leaving after a peace making visit as we arrived in Juba. The airport was packed and the roads closed. In all the crowds we were welcomed and admitted to South Sudan. Then Penny and I walked the mile or so from the airport to the hotel past lines of waiting cars and security. 

Khartoum is hot and dusty: Juba  is hot and humid after brief torrential afternoon rains. 

This evening we had a good conversation with Maud Johansson of the Norwegian Relief Council.  Later this week we will travel for a couple of days outside Juba to visit adult education projects - women teaching women , with  WEP supporting NRC as a partner in development education for women who have materially very little indeed. This is an exciting  and a very real development for WEP and thank you to our donors. 

We can see the links building between our work in Sudan and South Sudan, helping women who are disadvantaged or displaced through education. The real joy is that In both countries we are listening to local women  who are equally passionate for this to happen. 

Ibrahim and Izdihar

Ibrahim and Izdihar are two of our four Women's Education Partnership staff inSudan who coordinate and monitor our projects there.
Ibrahim and Izdihar
Izdihar (right) has special responsibility for our 88 undergraduate students and she really knows them well and understands them. They rely on her to look after them as they learn in Khartoum, often far away from their home areas which are affected by troubles.
Ibrahim organises the classes for women we teach in adult literacy in the dusty poorer areas of Khartoum. He also helps us monitor the work we do to educate young children made orphans through HIV/Aids in 10 schools.
We talked with them today in the office before we headed south to Juba.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ida's Dream

Without Together for Sudan, I would have had no chance in life.
Ida, originally from the Nuba Mountains, graduated in October 2012 from Africa University in Khartoum. She was one of our scholars and through this support she has gained a very Good degree in health science at Africa University Khartoum. She is now working at a government hospital as a nurse caring for patients who are suffering from heart problems and diabetes.." Without Together for Sudan, I would have had no chance in life. This allowed me to follow my dream to study and to become a nurse."

Meeting With WEP Students

We spent today with many of our scholarship students at Ahfad University and at the hostel we support. We have 88 young women currently studying at universities in Khartoum.
WEP Sponsored University Students (and us)
They tell of amazing stories of the power of education to change their lives. One girl from the Nuba Mountains told us, "Without the support I have received, I would have been lost. Now I will graduate next year in Rural Extension, Education and Development and I will use my skills to help children back home understand the importance of education.
Spot Peter and Penny!
We are where we should be because the day belonged to our students as they enjoyed being together.

Meeting Dr Gassim

With Dr Gassim Badri ( chancellor of Ahfad University Khartoum)  and Neimat ( Women's Education Partnership/Together for Sudan coordinator in Sudan) and Izidhar ( who monitors closely for us the progress and well being of our scholars). 
Neimat and Izdihar (centre) with Dr Gassim Badri
Dr Gassim said how vital it is that disadvantaged women have access to education. We must therefore continue to expand our scholarship scheme if we can. The fact that already 285 of our scholars have graduated is an amazing and unique achievement to support Women in Education in this part of the world. We talked of how we could encourage our students even more and we are exploring running some English conversation classes for them nearby using volunteers from among our local supporters. Dr Gassim leads a remarkable university for women and many of our students see him as a role model for level headed and calm leadership, especially in the recent disturbances. Dr Gassim is one of our patrons and we thanked him personally on behalf of all our supporters for his personal generosity and his commitment to our scholars.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Greetings from Khartoum

Khartoum is hot and dusty with people relaxing at the end of the festival. 

We were welcomed on arrival and met in the busy airport terminal with friendship and smiles. 

And! We travelled with only hand luggage !

Neimat will join us later this evening and we will greet her from friends of Together for Sudan/ Women's Education Partnership. 

Peter and Penny - Saturday evening at the Acropole, Khartoum.