Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Phoenix

2008 was a challenging year and the finances were not as abundant as the rain that pounded our 3/4 finished 'superadobe' house that Ted and Steve so beautifully continued in December 2007 (south darfur river in flood stage).

Nevertheless, the material survived the rains and the floods even without water-proofing and Homes for Sudan raised the funds to continue the training of the engineers and architects from NGOs and to plan a workshop in Darfur in December 2009.

In May of 2009, two of our board members visited our planned building site for the first community.   It was a sobering visit to realize that after so many years in camps, the internally displaced people have become far too institutionalized and used to receiving handouts.

According to the IDPs themselves, they will have to have 'much better than before' or they will not return to their villages. We hope to help them achieve that.
Our main Sudanese partner NGO that will be working hand in hand with us in December doing the workshops has already begun business training courses for the women in two of the IDP camps.  They are training the women in chicken businesses, teaching them to build the cages, breed the hens and sell the eggs. 

One of the major global NGOs that excels in and small businesses for women in Afghanistan and Pakistan - MEDA - has agreed to consult with Homes for Sudan and to provide their expertise in bringing some of this learning to the Sudan.  

Here the women in Otash camp posed for us after a visit in September to several of the camps.

I asked one of the women in Zam Zam camp what she would like to see in the future for Darfur.... She said that she would like to see her daughter become president!!!

One of the greatest rewards has been a branching out of our efforts to the South in the Sudan by one of our volunteer engineers - Ted.  He has taken the technology to Tonj and in February 2009 started a three dome clinic.

Ted and one of his fellow engineers returned in November 2009 to see that the local people who they had trained had plastered and completed the clinic.

The buildings are currently being used to house some of the relatives of the clinic workers and they plan to build and use the dome houses for doctors quarters.

Last but not least, we changed our name to 'Homes for Sudan' for a variety of reasons, but mainly for clarity and ease of marketing.

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