Sudan one of Africa’s biggest countries – formally gained independence from the British in 1956. Independence was quickly overshadowed by constitutional crises between the Islamic Arab regime in the North and the large non-Arab, non-Muslim minority in the South, which resulted in two drawn out civil wars that lasted over 20 years. Refugees fled to the North to escape the atrocities and large refugee camps were rapidly established on the periphery of Khartoum. Displaced persons were accommodated in cardboard, straw and sack housing. With no secure water supply, abysmal hygiene, no adequate food supply, no work, very few gave thought to the luxury of education.

To provide this necessary education for the hundreds of thousands of refugee children and to prevent the loss of Faith among the present and future generations, the Catholic Church quickly began to organize makeshift schools. The program soon became known as Save the Saveable. The first schools were established on Church grounds, built solely with refugee labor.

Although there are today currently 200 Save the Savable schools in Sudan, including 54 primary schools and 131 nursery schools – and the educational level is such a high standard of teaching that even Muslims enroll their children – the Church faces constant difficulties and the number of children attending is decreasing. The most common reason is that the Church, with the drop in external financial support, is no longer able to afford supporting the poorest 20-25% of students who cannot pay, and the refugee parents take their children out. Schools are now being closed, not by the Muslims authorities, but by a local Church unable to continue to serve.

Production Date: 2010
Duration: 11′

Copyright : CRTN
Language: English
Executive Producer: Mark Riedemann
Director: Agnieszka Dzieduszycka
This CRTN production was financed by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. More information can be found here:

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