Eahaa Mohammed Elnour Abdalla Provides Education and Health Services to Refugees Amid War in Sudan

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Eahaa Mohammed Elnour Abdalla is a Sudanese young lady currently residing in Juba, South Sudan. She is currently a 5th year medical student at the University of Khartoum. Following the war in Sudan, she was forced to flee with her family to a safer place. Since what they used to call “our home” was shot down on 15thof April, they headed to the southern part of the Gezira State. After a journey filled with hardships and terrors, they arrived safely to Alnourab village, a small village with limited access to electricity, water and internet services and a lack of basic health services. As soon as she settled at Alnourab, she noticed a set of reprehensible practices, social norms, medical malpractices, ignorance, a powerful youth energy as well as an invaluable opportunity to make a change in the people’s lives. Therefore, Eahaa founded Alnourab Youth Association (NYA) with seven passionate first-generation university students who wanted to improve people’s lives.


06/11/2023 Delivering scientific sessions on breast cancer and cervical cancer, Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Awareness Pink Campaign.©️All Rights Reserved

The war in Sudan has affected all service-providing sectors, including but not limited to educational services at all levels from primary to tertiary education. With more than 7.1 million internally displaced people and refugees, including 6.5 million children who have lost access to education due to violence and insecurity in their areas, with at least 10 400 schools closed in conflict-affected areas. “Alnourab Youth Association is therefore a youth-led association that brings together the youth of Alnourab village under one roof, empower them and equip them with the knowledge, tools and authority necessary to provide services in the fields of education, health, sports, culture and social with the vision of making Alnourab the best village in Gezira and all of Sudan,” reveals Eahaa.


Helping others live their lives to the fullest

Besides exceling her medical studies, Eahaa is a certified national Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocate. She is also a YALI-Young Africa Leadership Initiative alumna, cohort 47, in civic leadership track. “I started my career in the field of SRHR since 2019, by equipping myself with the knowledge and skills to start the journey of change-making in the field of SRHR. Later I was appointed to serve on the local and national levels as an assistant of the Standing Committee on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV and AIDS (SCORA) for the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA) working toward empowering more than 80,000 future health care providers to promote for a community where everyone is enabled to access their sexual and reproductive health and rights free from stigma, taboo or discrimination”, she informs.


25/05/2023 Self and Menstrual Hygiene Session – Rural and Refugee Children Educational Initiative.©️All Rights Reserved

Despite her story being as difficult as that of any other African girl, Eahaa has gone through obstacles filled with opportunities, she is convinced that she always makes the decision to light a candle in the darkness, reborn like a phoenix from his ashes. “‘Eahaa’ is an Arabic name meaning “inspiration”; and I believe I was called that for a reason. I live my life with the mantra of inspiring everyone I meet, to know better, to do better and to slowly but surely be a better version of themselves every day,” she confides.


21/05/2023 Ringing bell during a school day – Rural and Refugee Children Educational Initiative.©️All Rights Reserved


Starting her association – within a community that links organized association efforts to politics – was not easy at all. It took her more than 2 months of educational sessions, group discussions and individual interviews to finally convince the youth of Alnourab of the importance of organizing into a youth-led team that represents them, their values, their needs and their services, focusing all their efforts towards a single goal: improving people’s lives. “After hard work and unwavering dedication, I managed to inspire the passion of more than 60 young men and women to join the association and take responsibility for positively changing Alnourab,” she proudly tells us.


13/08/2023 Coordinating the Enlightenment Meeting and the Introductory Sessions to Alnourab Youth Association.©️All Rights Reserved


With a team of seven, they developed a system that organizes the responsibilities and different roles taken by the members within the association. After 3 weeks of consecutive meetings with experts in the institutional, voluntary and non-governmental fields, they were able to create a service-based constitution as well as to enumerate youth potentials from all over Alnourab.  “The association consisted of general, financial, social, cultural, sports and media secretariats. Each of which has a clear vision, mission, goals and objectives working in harmony for the benefit of our people.


Education and health at the forefront


 Despite the diversity of cultural, linguistic, educational and religious backgrounds, the Eahaa association has managed to exploit the mutual strengths of the inhabitants of Alnourab. By providing a diverse range of services, the association has reached seven additional neighboring villages where more than 20,000 people and displaced people reside. “We have run a series of successful parallel projects that cover a wide range of needs in education, health services, facility rehabilitation, medical awareness campaigns and capacity building programs,” she says.


04/06/2023 Morning school class – Rural and Refugee Children Educational Initiative.©️All Rights Reserved

To bridge the lack of access to quality education and to save the future of 400 children residing in Alnourab and the seven neighboring villages, by encouraging them to pursue their dreams, Eahaa launched the Educational Initiative for Rural Children and refugees. The initiative is not just about teaching children the basics of writing, reading and arithmetic. It’s about encouraging them to pursue their future and realize their dreams. “By recruiting 30 teachers, we were able to provide free educational services to over 350 internally displaced children from seven different villages in the southern region of Gezira State. At the same time, we worked to offer educational services aimed at eradicating illiteracy among the elderly, we organized 20 intensive sessions serving more than 50 women aged 40 to 50,” she continues.


09/06/2023 Doctors visiting different rooms in Alnourab Village Primary Health Care Center after the rehabilitations, The Medical Day in Alnourab village.©️All Rights Reserved.

In support of a healthier community, Eahaa’s association collaborated with 13 consultants from 10 different specialties to provide medical consultations, medical laboratories and pharmaceutical services at lower costs. Thanks to the association, they rehabilitated the primary health care unit in the village of Alnourab to serve not only its 3,000 residents but also the 18,000 residents and internally displaced people from neighboring villages. “We were able to help provide consultations and emergency medical services to 500 patients from 8 different villages, accompanied by educational sessions on communicable and non-communicable diseases, maternal health, medical errors in emergencies and adolescents and young women.”


30/10/2023 Conducting Cholera Awareness Session, Cholera Awareness Campaign, Alnourab Village.©️All Rights Reserved

Following the August 2023 cholera outbreak in Sudan, they organized the largest awareness campaign advocating healthier practices and preventive measures maintaining the zero prevalence rate of cholera in Alnourab. “We recruited 10 young enthusiasts, educated and trained them to participate in awareness sessions intended for village residents. Through our strenuous efforts for a cholera-free village, we were able to reach 500 heads of households and 200 children and educate them on practices to protect themselves against cholera, recruit 70 people to participate in cleaning the village facilities to break the life cycle of vectors associated with cholera transmission.


17/11/2023 Self-examination explanatory session for young girls and women, as a part of the breast cancer and cervical cancer awareness exhibition – Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Awareness Pink Campaign. ©️All Rights Reserved


Celebrating Pink Month, Eahaa led a team of dedicated young women and men and organized the Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Awareness Pink Campaigns (BCCAPC), introducing a taboo concept to the community of a modern and culturally respected way. “I have been able to train, empower and equip over 30 people with the scientific knowledge, required skills and tools to understand the science as well as the social aspects associated with diseases and increase community awareness of the issues. cancer in general, breast cancer, self-examination methods, cervical cancer, early detection as well as preventive measures and treatment options. We were able to reach 200 young girls and teenagers, 100 elderly women and 50 men.


And now the impact is precious

Through these unique projects in the region, Eahaa has been touched by the impact her association has had on the lives and futures of 5,000 residents and displaced people in the southern part of Gezira State. “I have empowered young people, targeted women, educated children, eradicated illiteracy among the elderly and inspired everyone I met to know better, do better and be better every day,” she says with pride.


17/11/2023 A painted board filled with feedbacks and comments from the attendants of the Breast Cancer and Cervical Cancer Pink Campaign.©️All Rights Reserved

As a young African woman, Eaha believes in the power of girls and women with passion and dreams. She advises them. “It is we who want to change our environment, raise our voice and write the future of our countries with bold lines. For you my darlings, never stop pursuing your dreams. Set goals, commit to starting soon, and most importantly, discipline yourself to be consistent no matter what trials and difficulties you encounter along the journey. Our communities are waiting for us, our country needs you, and our Africa is our business,” she concludes.

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