UMCOR began working in Sudan in February 2005 after assessment teams determined that UMCOR's experience could add to the humanitarian effort to alleviate suffering in South Darfur. Initial programs focused on providing essential non-food items to displaced people living in camps. UMCOR Sudan has since expanded its programs to include peace building, education, agriculture and food security, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) projects. A second office was opened in South Sudan in 2006, which recently has transitioned into an independent UMCOR mission.
AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY
UMCOR’s agricultural program helps internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities (HCs) regain their livelihood security. UMCOR provides agricultural inputs such as seeds and tools, establishes farmers’ committees, and trains community members. More than 118,000 animals have been vaccinated against common diseases and are cared for by community animal health workers trained by UMCOR. Farmers have been trained in land preparation, planting and water harvesting technologies, and crop enhancement through seed selection and pest and disease control. About 8,900 households have directly benefited from livestock and seed fairs.
EDUCATION AND CHILD PROTECTION
UMCOR’s Education and Child Protection program focuses on teacher training, school construction and reconstruction, establishing Parent Teacher Associations, and providing essential school supplies for students. School kits from UMCOR’s supply depots are also distributed to support students in Darfur. Schools in El Neem Refugee Camp, El Daein, Adilla, and Jadelseed have benefited from projects in school construction and supply distribution. Sports equipment, school supplies, and hundreds of desks have been distributed to these schools.
UMCOR also has constructed new classroom blocks, rehabilitated permanent classrooms, and built gender-specific latrines at the schools. Families are reluctant to send girls to mixed schools where there are no change rooms or separate washing facilities for boys and girls; moreover, the education of girls is not valued as they are expected to carry out most household chores and are often married off early.
UMCOR’s education programs enhance girls’ enrollment and retention in schools by sensitizing communities to the importance of girls’ education and improving the learning environment for girls. For example, UMCOR partners with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund (DCPSF) to distribute girls' uniforms and school materials for thousands of students in Darfur. Through funding from UNDP, UMCOR has provided hundreds of uniforms and sanitary kits to girls and trained 20 primary school teachers in conflict resolution and child-friendly education skills for the classroom.
UMCOR’s peace-building project in Sudan teaches people about peaceful coexistence and conflict resolution, and organizes peace building activities through songs, dramas, and dances. The project targets youth, women, teachers, and community leaders in IDP camps in South Darfur. UMCOR helps these individuals to form Peace Clubs and Peace Committees. These groups undergo conflict resolution training and are responsible for identifying and mitigating sources of conflict in their communities. Peace-building pamphlets are circulated within the communities to disseminate messages about the importance of peace and how it can be achieved. On September 28, 2011, Adilla Locality celebrated International Peace Day with more than 400 participants. Inter-tribal conflict over land and natural resources is common in this region of Darfur. Peace is difficult to achieve because the conflict over water, land for farming, and animal grazing rights, have all led to a breakdown of service delivery, including in both health and education.
RECONSTRUCTION AND HEALTH
Through funds from Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, USAID, the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), and UNDP/DCPSF, UMCOR increases access to clean water and sanitation for more than 100,000 people in Sudan. This program drills boreholes, rehabilitates water points, and trains communities how to manage and repair their water supplies and promote hygiene. Reconstruction activities also focus on improving sanitation within the growing refugee camps and nearby host communities by building or rehabilitating household latrines.
PARTNERS IN OUR WORK
UMCOR Sudan works with a variety of partners to make our work possible. In addition to the private funds we receive through the United Methodist Church, we also receive support from the following:
Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance
Ginghamsburg United Methodist Church, Tipp City, Ohio
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Development Programme/Darfur Community Peace and Stability Fund
The Common Humanitarian Fund