The global economic crisis in 2009 created many challenges for humanitarian aid organizations- including DPDO. In the face of diminishing donations, we strengthened strategic planning to continue meeting the needs of program beneficiaries. DPDO board and staff have rededicated themselves to continue the vision and the mission of the organization.
This would not have been possible without our dedicated schools and supporters in the U.S., in particular, Ante Up for Africa, a celebrity organization that donated a total of $500,000. This funding enabled construction to begin on Gangy High School for orphans in El Fasher, near one of the largest IDP camps in North Darfur. The site has a new water well that provides 2000 gallons per hour for the school and neighboring IDPs. With construction underway as of September 2009, the school expects to enroll 460 students in June 2010.
Our Women’s Center beneficiaries have increased to 218 weavers, sixty literacy trainees, and 150 children in a pre-school program. Fifty-seven women were trained in first aid at the Centers in cooperation with the Sudanese Red Crescent Society.
In 2009, the Solar Cooker Program trained 184 beneficiaries in Malit, in Sakali camp, South Darfur, in Abuja and Abu Shouk camps near El Fasher, and at Ahfad University, Khartoum and in El Haj-Yousif (Khartoum North).
DPDO’s Schools Program has undergone significant change. The level of funding has not allow continued, equitable payment of teacher and staff salaries. Instead, we are improving the education environment by providing teacher and student supplies and additional resources for water. With the support of
the UNICEF, we were able to supply 37 schools in North Darfur with a total enrollment of 19,352 students. A goal for 2010 is to begin rehabilitation and reconstruction of classrooms, teacher offices and latrines.
Omer Ismail and Suliman Giddo were highly engaged in the process of bringing peace to Darfur as neutral third parties consulting with and unifying all conflicted parties. They completed five missions to Sudan, eight to Chad, four to Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), three to Egypt, two to Libya, and four missions to Doha. In collaboration with ICAR, American University and Siena University in Italy, DPDO brought top leaders from seven Darfur rebel groups to Siena for five days consultation on unification.
Even with sustained growth and success, DPDO faces real challenges to continue serving our beneficiaries and to bring peace in Darfur. As always, we turn to our supporters and donors. Their generosity enables us continue our humanitarian work for the war-affected people of Darfur.