Khartoum is Sudan's capital, and its second-largest city, with a population of over 5 million people. Located in Sudan's hot desert at the meeting-place of the White Nile and the Blue Nile, temperatures have been known to exceed 53°C in the height of summer.
During the decades of civil war, Khartoum saw it's fair share of violence, and was under attack by rebel forces on more than one occassion.
Since the 2005 peace deal, Khartoum has attempted to develop its industries. The major sectors currently driving the capital's economy include printing, food processing, and textiles.
The aftermath of war
During the last decade of the civil war, Khartoum became home to a huge number of refugees and internally displaced people fleeing from the violence at home. This has not changed since the fighting stopped. As of 2014 the capital remained home to 2.1 million internally displaced people, as well as almost 241,000 refugees.
Such a fast-paced increase in population size has placed enormous pressure on services and infrastructure. Slums have developed around the city, and although displaced people are gradually returning home, urban poverty lingers. Indicators such as low female illiteracy and disappointing school enrolment rates suggests that life is tough for a great many people.
Education lacking for Khartoum's children
School enrolment is incredibly low in Khartoum. Only 67% of children register for primary school, while statistics for secondary school enrolment are worse still, at just over a third. If the capital is truly to recover and flourish after decades of civil war, more children need to enter education and begin to build a better future for Khartoum.
What are we doing?
SOS Children has worked in Khartoum for many years, and our work has always reflected the changing needs of the Sudanese people. From emergency relief to ongoing family support, we are always there for the families of Khartoum at their time of need.
Helping communities recover from disaster
After heavy rain and flooding struck in 1999, we began work in the nearby town of Umbada to help those whom disaster had brought to their knees. The destruction of homes and infrastructure by the elements meant that many families were barely scraping by. We stepped in to rebuild homes and repair pipework, sewerage and sanitation infrastructure. We also renovated the local primary school so that more children could reap the benefits of learning in a region where education and training opportunities were practically non-existent.
Supporting children left alone by war
The Darfur conflict left child refugees living in dire conditions in the north of the region. In late 2004, we began emergency work in the Abu Shok camp, where over 80,000 people had been subsisting amid terrible conditions. We opened two family centres and provided desperately needed psychological support to those left traumatised by what they had seen.
Strengthening fragile families
Since 2005, our social centres in Khartoum and Umbada have provided vital support to families on the brink of break-up. We work to identify needs and provide tailored support so that parents can care provide the best possible care for their own children.
Our approach is multi-pronged - we deliver counselling to help children and parents recover from psychological damage, while helping others develop income-generating ideas so that they can build their own businesses and make an ample living independently.
Caring for lone children
Though we act to hold together as many families as we can, many of Khartoum's children have no one. For these children, a loving home can be found at our Children's Village in Khartoum. Here, children are raised by a loving SOS mother, surrounded by SOS brothers and sisters. They attend the SOS Nursery together with children from the neighbourhood which ensures that they are well intergrated into the local community from a young age.
Until 2014, we ran primary schools in the country; these are now run by the Sudanese authorities.
SOS Children has been there for Sudanese families time and time again. We work to ensure vulnerable people can overcome the many hardships they face, and are always on hand to give children who have no one else another chance in life.