Hilat Al Bir is a village in Sudan ca. 300 km south of Khartoum. In 2001, when establishing the Charity Club "Friends of Hilat Al Bir" the community with a population of 12,000 had neither water nor power. Moreover, there was only one dilapidated school for the whole village.
At this time in Hilat Al Bir up to 100 children are taught in a single class room with no textbooks and far too few chairs and desks. Teachers ask for school fees from the pupils in order prevent themselves from starving. Many pupils leave school without being able to read or write. They remain illiterate, and just like their parents depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
Restoration of the old school
Building a new School
First class in new school
Much has happened since then. As far back as 2006, a single-form elementary school with 8 classrooms and four teachers’ offices was built and opened – with funding from colleagues and friends. In the period 2006 – 2009, many individual donations enabled the charity to build a health centre providing care for about 20,000 people, build another single-form primary school, renovate the old school building and build accommodations for the health staff.
Between 2009 and 2011, with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) another two single-form elementary schools for about 800 children, a kindergarten for some 200 children and teachers’ accommodations were built. The members of the charity and two representatives of the German embassy in Khartoum who attended the opening ceremonies of the new schools in Hilat Al Bir were able to satisfy themselves that every single cent had gone towards the project.
Autumn 2012, there was good news for the people of Hilat Al Bir and the surrounding villages: the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) approved the charity’s aid application for a third educational project. The new project running until 2014 will aim to expand the existing schools in seven surrounding communities, in order to make it possible to teach the pupils up to year 8. New schools will be built in villages with a particularly high number of pupils. In addition, teachers’ accommodations will be built and water pipes will be installed in one village, in order for children and women not to have to spend the whole day carrying water.
And so it continues: With the help of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), a fourth project was started in 2014. Within the last two years, a high school for girls and a high school for Boys got constructed in Hilat Al Bir giving children from eight villages access to higher education. Teachers’ accommodation for these schools was built. In addition a repair shop got installed for the maintenance of the school, kindergarten and health station. Manual workers or small enterprises who can’t afford to buy machines have now the possibility to work there. This will enable more repairs to be executed locally and hopefully will create more jobs for the people in the villages.
We are very thankful for what we've reached. Beside our members and the BMZ we also want to thank our partner organization in Hilat Al Bir and the villagers for their unfailing support and work within the projects.