Aid worker stories

EAST AFRICA AID WORKERS: Ahmed Khamis Alnour, Education Superviser

West Darfur, Sudan

We provide basic education services – like reading, writing and playtime – for children living in a local camp for internally displaced people called Alhujaj. The camp is home to about 5000 men, women and children, most of whom were forced to leave their villages in 2002 due to serious fighting and violence. Ahmed Khamis Alnour © REDR

Life is tough for the families of Alhujaj. The camp is very crowded. People don’t have tents but small homes made from bamboo sticks, sheets and grass. In winter, blankets are provided by aid organisations. And in the rainy season, plastic sheeting is available to keep the water off.

People are not happy living like this but they have no choice. They don’t have enough to eat, or enough clothing – and the sanitation situation isn’t good either. But they can’t go back to their homes and villages because the security situation is still very bad.

Our work makes things a little better. We’re the only school in the camp with just two teachers – and we teach about 70 children from Sunday to Thursday. We also tell the kids about proper hygiene, and how to be helpful and confident.

Although my job involves frequent visits to Alhujaj, it is also about helping to raise more money –  and telling our donors about what we have achieved. This might not sound important, but it really is. We want to begin work in three other camps and expand our services so we can teach adults too.

To help me do this part of my job better, I went on a RedR training to learn how to write better proposals and reports. It means I can provide the correct information to potential funders and report back on what we are doing in the right way. Since then, I have had lots of positive feedback and we are hopeful we will receive some new funding in the next couple of months.

Training is so important to develop the skills of national organisations like ours. We hope that GSDS and other Sudanese organisations will be able to take on more humanitarian projects in this region. By improving my skills, my work improves, and that means we can provide better services to the people of West Darfur.

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Photo: Ahmed Khamis Alnour © RedR

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