It's hard to believe that we are already halfway through October. And what a year this has been in Sudan.
In April and following months of protests, people across Sudan peacefully brought down one the world's worst war criminals, long-time dictator Omar al-Bashir. His immediate predecessor was promptly dispatched by the protesters as well. When the regime refused to cede power and massacred their own citizens in June, people returned to the streets with such ferocity that the war criminals slinked back to the negotiating table. A half-win was achieved: three years of joint military-civilian governance followed by fair elections.
A long road lies ahead between this moment and a free Sudan. There are signs that the military has no plans of ceding power, much less pursuing peace. That's all the more reason to help the Sudanese people drive the change they seek as deep as possible while this window is open. This holiday season is the perfect time to do that in a tangible way.
From November through the end of the year, our passionate online fundraisers will raise tens of thousands of dollars for Sudanese-led programs in the oppressed Nuba Mountains region. Our commitment to the Sudanese people has to match their hope that this is the moment they can finally change their country's trajectory. I invite you to join us. Here are the campaigns you can be a part of this holiday season:
Education In Yida Refugee Camp
Just like Sudan, our flagship program in Yida Refugee Camp has had a big year. The Renewal High School soft-opened in February and students at Endure Primary once again achieved high standardized testing scores. Moving into 2020, our Nuba education partner's top priorities are to continue opening up Renewal High to more students, weatherproof classrooms, and start building a library for both schools.
Both schools exist only because of our movement's private giving and fundraising. The holiday season is a perfect time to start a fundraising page so that the 24 teachers and nearly 1,100 students at the schools can continue making progress.
Healthcare In Nuba Mountains
Mother of Mercy Hospital remains the only referral hospital in the heart of the Nuba Mountains warzone. With 400 beds for a population of nearly one million people, the mostly local Nuba staff heals the war-wounded, cures cancer, and battles preventable diseases.
In his most recent update, Dr. Tom tells the story of two children with advanced Wilms’ tumors. The hospital managed to save both their lives with chemotherapy and surgery. Because of fundraisers and donors, it only cost the families $2. As Dr. Tom notes, this really highlights the capabilities of one of the most remote hospitals in the world.
The ceasefire in the Nuba Mountains is barely holding together. If full-scale war and regime aerial bombing resumes, the hospital will be flooded with people in urgent need of help. Your fundraising this holiday season will help the hospital staff continue to save lives.
Securing Our Future
We don't talk about our self-started Endowment Fund very often, mostly because it doesn't sound as exciting as the programs we support in Sudan. But it is a critical part of our future as an organization.
One day, this fund will be large enough to fund our overhead costs - costs that include office rent, staff salaries, and printer toner. Again, we know this sounds really boring, but this is something that will help us better serve the Sudanese people in a practical way. We'll never have to worry again about how we're going to keep the lights on. We'll be able to focus 100% of our time on driving real change forward in Sudan. You can learn more about our Endowment Fund in the latest update here.
The holidays are also the giving season. It's the easiest time of year to fundraise. Our staff will be with you every step of the way. We have fantastic resources to help you reach whatever goal you set, be it $100 or $1,000.
This holiday season, we can collectively help our Sudanese partners continue doing good work. This has certainly been an exciting year, but real justice in Sudan will only be built from the ground up. I hope you will join us in being a part of that in the coming weeks.
Mark C. Hackett
Executive Director, Operation Broken Silence
info [at] operationbrokensilence [dot] org
P.S. If you are one of our supporters here in Memphis, don't forget about our Giving Tuesday events and Soirée For Sudan! We'd love to see you in person on December 3. You can fundraise your entry into our annual soirée over the holidays.
The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is working to accelerate their ability to generate lasting change through storytelling and movement-building, education and emergency relief, and grassroots advocacy programs.
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