An event has been held to mark 30 years of work in Sudan.

Islamic Relief was set up in 1984 to respond to the famine in Sudan. Thirty years later our office in Sudan has marked the anniversary with an event for 250 people.

The gathering celebrates 30 years of Islamic Relief's work in Sudan.

The gathering celebrates 30 years of Islamic Relief’s work in Sudan.

The event was held in El Obied, a town in Greater Kordofan, Sudan, to reflect on our work over the last three decades.

Humanitarian aid was first delivered to families in Sudan in response to a severe famine following months of drought. Our work in Sudan progressed, until we opened our first official field office there in 1991.

Hafiz ElHajj Mekki, the state’s Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, attended the anniversary event, which was held at the end of December. He heard from El Sadig Elnour, who was then the interim country director, about Islamic Relief’s commitment to empowerment and wellbeing and thanked the Sudanese government for their continued support of our work. He also heard from Gisiema Babay, programme coordinator for the Greater Kordofan area, who spoke about how our work was shaped by our Islamic values.

Beneficiaries and partners

The event also included an exhibition of programme achievements, which remained open to the public for the next three days. Candles were lit and flags marking the anniversary were distributed to attendees. A film, which had been put together on our WASH (water sanitation and hygiene) work was also screened, along with testimonies from beneficiaries from the area. The beneficiaries also attended to perform traditional dances, and the local and national press recorded the event.

Beneficiaries of our food security work show some of their projects.

Beneficiaries of our food security work show some of their projects.

El Sadig Elnour said: “The event was a chance for us to show people the depth and breadth of our work in Sudan and to build relationships with other organisations as our event was also attended by other international and local NGOs and UN offices.

“The presence of some of our beneficiaries also added great value to the event. We had attendees from El Bobayia women’s group, and Abu Khuris food security and livelihoods group. They were able to show those who were attending our event some of the activities in which they’d been involved as well as give first-hand accounts of the impact our microfinance and livelihoods programmes have made on them.”

Islamic Relief currently works in Khartoum, Blue Nile, Kordofan and Darfur areas, providing shelter, water and sanitation to those who have fled conflict. We have also worked on more long-term issues, including livelihoods, education and the reduction of female genital mutilation/cutting.