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Sudan photo blog: we will never let our people down

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It’s official this week: the southern region of Sudan will secede from the north and form the world’s newest nation.

When I read the news out of Sudan, I always wonder how the latest events are affecting the people I’ve had a chance to get to know on my visits to Darfur. 

Maryam Gado’s daughter holds the hand of a public health promoter. Photo by Elizabeth Stevens/Oxfam.
Maryam Gado’s daughter holds the hand of a public health promoter. Photo by Elizabeth Stevens/Oxfam.

I’ve traveled there to document our humanitarian programs, and it’s always a pleasure to see the fruits of our labor (read stories about our work). But what moves me most is seeing how so many people living in the midst of the crisis – burdened as they are with poverty and deep uncertainty about the future – have dedicated themselves to helping their communities.

 

Like public health promoters – trained by Oxfam – who work tirelessly to educate their neighbors about the importance of hygiene in averting disease outbreaks in the crowded camps.

“Previously, my children didn’t wash their hands before they ate,” said Maryam Gado, who now lives in one of the camps. “They were often weak and not healthy.” All that has changed. Photo by Elizabeth Stevens/Oxfam.
“Previously, my children didn’t wash their hands before they ate,” said Maryam Gado, who now lives in one of the camps. “They were often weak and not healthy.” All that has changed. Photo by Elizabeth Stevens/Oxfam.

Halima Adam Nasur is one. She and her team make home visits, teaching their neighbors about washing hands, keeping food and utensils hygienic, maintaining latrines, and more. Their efforts have helped thousands of people protect the health of their loved ones – and very likely have saved lives.

 ”I believe that all the people in the camp are my sisters and brothers,” she said to me. “We are never going to let our people down.”

Maryam Gado's son, with friends. Photo by Elizabeth Stevens/Oxfam.
Maryam Gado's son, with friends. Photo by Elizabeth Stevens/Oxfam.

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