Thank you so much to 153 of you who collectively raised over $140,000 in 2017! Everything we did this year would not have been possible without your efforts. Here are just a few of things you accomplished:
The students and teachers at the primary school we support in Yida Refugee Camp had their best and biggest year yet. Your fundraising helped Mother of Mercy Hospital, the only remaining hospital in the Nuba Mountains, continue saving lives throughout the year.
You made our final relief mission to Nuba refugees in need happen. And you helped us create our first travelling photography exhibit that introduced over 3,000 people to the crisis in Sudan for the first time.
None of this would have been possible without your fundraising and your time. On behalf of our Sudanese friends and partners, thank you!
Our combined fundraising is changing, saving, and empowering the Sudanese people. And we're only just getting started.
2018 is going to be a big year for the Sudanese people and our fundraisers. As a fundraiser in 2017, you will remain at the heart of how we empower the Sudanese people in this new year. Here's an early look at what is coming down the pipe.
Education In Yida
Our top priority in 2018 is making the primary school in Yida Refugee Camp 100% financially secure at it's current size. Right now, there are 12 teachers and 930 students who count entirely on our fundraising every year at the school. If we come up short, they intimately feel the negative results of it.
As I mentioned above, this special school had a successful year that exceeded our hopes and expectations. From high student grades to being celebrated by the Nuba community in Yida, this primary school is truly an amazing place. It needs to be fully supported moving forwards so that more students can continue advancing. The school is also run and led entirely by the Nuba themselves.
But fully sustaining the primary school also fits into the bigger picture. Our Nuba education partner is in the early stages of planning the first high school in Yida Refugee Camp. By securing sustainable funding for the primary school by growing our Renewal family, annual events, and your fundraising efforts, our staff will be freed up to begin pursuing funding for the high school!
Thousands of children in Yida Refugee Camp still have no school to attend at all. Together, we can continue changing that.
Mother of Mercy Hospital
Since 2016, our organization has been the fundraising parter of the Heart of Nuba film, a documentary that tells the story of American Dr. Tom Catena and Mother of Mercy Hospital. This medical facility is the last remaining hospital in the Nuba Mountains. It has only 400 beds for a population of roughly one million people. To make matters worse, Dr. Tom and the Sudanese staff operate underneath the shadows of government warplanes.
As Dr. Tom noted in his last update just a few weeks ago, the hospital continues to face a financial crisis amidst being overwhelmed almost daily. And the needs will only continue to grow this year.
Moving into 2018, we are making growing the Renewal family to better support the team at Mother of Mercy Hospital a priority. One of our new Board positions focuses exclusively on bringing more support to the hospital, and we'll be hosting more screenings of the Heart of Nuba film to continue growing the Renewal family and recruiting more fundraisers just like you for the Heart of Nuba Campaign.
With your support in 2017, we created our first travelling photography installation that immerses viewers into what life is like in Yida Refugee Camp. This unique storytelling project only had a few showings last year, but the results exceeded our expecations. Over 3,000 people came to see the Yida Photography Exhibit at the four showings we had in Memphis last year, and the exhibit has raised over $20,000 for the programs we support already!
In 2018, attendees to exhibit showings will have the option of being able to join The Renewal or start a fundraising page at the end of the experience. We're currently in the process of nailing down showing dates for 2018 in the Greater Memphis area.
And don't forget, our next documentary film has a target release date of December 2018! We've already put a whopping 1,574 hours into this project, and there's plenty of work left to be done.
2018 is going to be the most important year yet, both for the Sudanese people and our organization.
Despite concerning international developments with regards to Sudan, including the lifting of U.S. sanctions on the genocidal Bashir regime, our organization's view remains the same: the winds of positive change continue blowing throughout the country. The Bashir regime's days are numbered and, more importantly, every single day Sudanese are standing up to this oppressive dictatorship in increasingly bold and creative ways.
Our job is to prepare the Sudanese for the day that peace finally comes and the window of opportunity for permanent change opens. That means we must continue telling the story of Sudan in new and creative ways and financially supporting programs, people, and places that are already changing and saving lives. As a fundraiser, you are at the center of making this happen.
These are just a few of the top priorities we have this year and they are ones we are determined to meet. If we succeed, the Sudanese people stand to benefit greatly from our combined efforts, and the needle of change will inch a little closer to the tipping point. Thank you again for standing with the Sudanese people in 2017. Here is how you can be even more impactful in 2018:
2018 is going to be a big year for the Sudanese people and our movement. Your consistent generosity through fundraising will remain at the heart of how we empower the Sudanese people in this new year. Here are a few ways you can increase your own impact and grow our family in 2018:
1. Continue Your Fundraising! If you're reading this, it is because you had an active fundraising page in 2017. Even though it is a new year, you can continue moving forwards on your current page! If you already reached your fundraising goal, you can even log in to your fundraising page and raise it for the new year! LOG IN TO YOUR FUNDRAISING PAGE »
If you would like to continue fundraising in 2018 and need some help adjusting your goal or fundraising page, just shoot Audrey a quick message at atetzeli [at] operationbrokensilence [dot] org and she'll get the ball rolling for you.
2. Host An Event At Home. Did you know that you can host a small event at your home or in your community to raise support through your fundraising page? You can! We offer a number of great ideas and staff support to help you host an event, be it a dinner party, film screening, and more. HOST AN EVENT »
3. Join The Renewal. If you're not in a position to continue fundraising or host an event, the next best and easiest thing you can do is to join The Renewal! This is an automatic monthly giving program that directly supports our storytelling and movement building and education and emergency response programs in Sudan. It’s like your monthly subscription to a video, music, or internet cable service, but it empowers the Sudanese people! LEARN MORE »
Thanks again for standing with the people of Sudan in 2017 and continuing on this journey with us in 2018. We hope you'll take one of the above actions so we can impact even more lives in Sudan this year.
About Mark Hackett
Mark began working on Sudan issues in 2007 after an eye-opening conversation with a genocide survivor from Darfur, Sudan. Since 2011 he has overseen the steady growth of our organization. His work and story has been featured by over 100 news, media, education, and non-profit organizations.
Mark makes sure our on the ground programs stay on the rails and that our movement remains focused on our end goal of closing our doors one day. He’s one of only a few Americans to have visited frontline areas in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan during the war.