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A glimpse of Hanan's travel journal from Port Sudan

The staff and volunteers of Nida’a al-hayat are hardworking and determined, and they have a great understanding of the needs of children who live and work on the street. This summer, I was lucky to visit the centre in Port Sudan and see how they work and connect with the children. I am proud to see how well they are doing.

My family and I had decided to combine a visit to my native Port Sudan with a follow up visit at Nida’a al-hayat’s centre. We were lucky enough to be there during Eid following the month of Ramadan, when it is customary to give alms (zakat) to the less fortunate. My daughter Waa’d and I and joined the team on Sunday morning, the first day of Eid. Our family and friends had donated clothes, which we carefully selected, sorted and divided into nice gifts together with Afraa and Afaf the social workers, and Osama the financial advisor. The Sudanese association in Oslo had also donated money, which we divided in envelopes, which were nicely sealed.

I already knew that many of the children have families, but that they are partially living and working on the street either to help their families or to escape the hard and tough living conditions. Some families live on the streets, some of them work for hardly any money which is not enough to support a child, some of them are begging and some combine work and begging. Nida’a al-hayat does not differentiate between these children and families.

The children came by the centre and they received new clothes for themselves and their families, and they rushed out in joy to share the good news. The mothers with small children were given new clothes and some money. They were moved and could not hide their joy about the Eid gifts. We also visited some of the families of the children who started school earlier this year to give them their presents. I cannot describe their happiness and gratitude for these gifts and the help. These families are very poor and have nothing to wait for except god’s mercy. Their houses are built from grass, old cloth or other things they have found, and it doesn’t give proper protection or shelter, naked children running around not knowing how nice the coming Eid feast is. This was a real experience for the team and me.

I learn a lot form this journey, I saw thereal poverty, I saw the poor Sudanese, the ones who find their lives in a in miserable situations, a dry bread means a lot for them, the cold water is a luxury and education is a just a dream. It was great to see how Nida’a al-hayat works help these people, and makes the work we are doing in Norway even more meaningful.

Written by Hanan Elsafi, member of From Street to Safety Translated by Taha Hussein, deputy director From Street to Safety

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