Hello Goodwill Caravan friends and supporters,
I started typing these words from heart of Egypt, looking up at a vicious sandstorm that came with no warning and damaged anything it came into contact with…I thought of mothers shielding their babies on the border of Sudan and Egypt with no cover. I felt disabled in the moment to help them, a feeling I ve known too well since I decided to found this humanitarian charity 8 years ago.
But unlike them, I witnessed the sand storm from the safety of an apartment window I was filled with an internal storm of emotions of my own, terrified of how parents who called out to us for help will shield their children’s eyes and lungs from the sandstorm that was about to hit the dessert border crossing where they had been stranded for weeks due to ever changing immigration laws in Egypt for Sudanese nationals. Feelings of disappointment in the media who appear to have turned a blind eye to the suffering and deaths at the border crossings, but also determination and hope in the power of the many helping those who have lost hope in humanity. Over the past weeks, our dedicated team has been hard at work, confronting head-on the harsh realities that thousands of Sudanese refugees face each day.
Our commitment to Goodwill Caravan’s Sudan emergency appeal has brought us here. We aim to, not only, gain a deeper understanding of the support local NGOs offer to Sudanese refugees, but also to lend a hand in these endeavours. Our legal team in Egypt and The UK is also striving relentlessly to reunite families that have been torn apart due to war.
We’ve faced our own set of hurdles, from cancelled flights to unforeseen roadblocks, to sudden overnight law changes banning Sudanese nationals from entering Egypt without visas when Embassies have network issues and waiting lists of 5000 applications plus. But crossfire, heat stroke, dehydration and war injuries do not wait for waiting lists…they simply run their course and take lives. These stumbling blocks we have faced obstructing our path to help them pale in comparison to the hardships these displaced families endure every single day. As borders close and rescue flights cease, many people, including British citizens of Sudanese ethnic origin, are left stranded in an unending crossfire.
One of the most disheartening realities is the diminished media attention this crisis receives, despite its dire urgency. Reports from witnesses have detailed the loss of up to 30 lives at border crossings, mostly single mothers, and their young children, who succumb to dehydration and other harsh conditions, and the death count in Sudan since war started.
Nevertheless, we remain undeterred. Our resolve to help these displaced individuals is unyielding, and our efforts to reunite families and provide them with safe havens are incessant. For many, Egypt seems to be the only viable refuge, even as its borders remain largely closed to refugees.
We are haunted by the images sent to us by families stranded in Port Sudan, left in limbo as evacuations have ceased. We are confronted by the stark reality that this is where mercy seems to end, and opportunistic traffickers see a chance to exploit the desperate and vulnerable.
Despite these challenges, we draw strength from our allies and supporters. We would like to express our deepest gratitude to our dedicated legal team including Diana Baxter, Maha Sardar, Amer Rahman and the team at Farani Taylor LLP, all from The UK and Ashraf Farouk from Egypt. Their tireless work to reunite families and provide legal aid has been indispensable.
Part of our work here is providing legal aid at the borders. Our efforts focus on helping Sudanese individuals who possess a passport but do not have it with them, enabling them to cross into Egypt. We also work tirelessly to reunite Sudanese families holding UK citizenship or those with family members who are UK citizens, with their families in the UK.
As we continue to navigate through this crisis, we urge you to join us in our mission. Your support and contributions can make a significant difference in the lives of those who need it the most.
Visit our website at www.goodwillcaravan.com to find out more about our work and how you can help.
Together, we can make a difference.
Executive Director & Founder of Goodwill Caravan
#legal #help #safety #humanrights #notowar #sudanmatters #egypt #goodwillcaravan #solidarity
In a world full of chaos, this story reminds us that hope and kindness can still triumph. Goodwill Caravan Legal Team- making a difference, one family at a time. Successful family reunification in Heathrow Airport.