GoFundMe Target $50,000
Your fundraiser link is: https://www.gofundme.com/a-safe-haven-for-eritrean-refugees-in-khartoum
While much of the world’s attention is on the Ukrainian war, the situation in Eritrea remains bleak. Eritreans find themselves in a perpetual destitution, suffer appalling torture and sexual violence. They face indefinite conscription to fight the regime’s endless wars. Hundreds of thousands of Eritreans have been forced to flee their homeland, for which they sacrificed so much to liberate.
Following the pointless and tragic 1998-2000 border war with Ethiopia, it is estimated over 100,000 Eritreans were forced to flee. The exodus continues to this day – exacerbated by Eritrea’s involvement in the war in Tigray.
Sudanese have welcomed Eritreans for decades. Some have made the country their home; earning a living, starting families and educating their children. Many Eritreans have tried to trek across the Sahara and the Mediterranean to reach Europe, entrusting their fates to barbaric people traffickers. Thousands of Eritreans have perished in the attempt – their bones litter the Sahara; their bodies washed up on beaches.
Many of these deaths could have been avoided with a properly organised reception centre in Khartoum. Staffed by Eritreans themselves, it could provide advice to new arrivals and help them explore other avenues, rather than risk their lives trying to reach increasingly unwelcoming European shores.
Arkokby Rehabilitation and Development Organisation (ARDO)
To meet this urgent need, a group of Eritreans in Sudan have set up Arkokby – a not-for-profit NGO based in Khartoum. It is already fully licenced to provide immigration, education, health and welfare advice to newly arrived Eritrean refugees. For example, Arkokby organised a “salon” – hairdressing training for 22 single mothers, 20 of whom have since found employment and are able to support their extended families.
But this is a drop in the ocean given an estimated 72,000 Eritrean refugees in Sudan are keen to cross the Mediterranean into Europe. Arkokby will need to do a lot more, and fast to reach out to these people who in a recent study expressed an overwhelming wish to stay in Sudan given the opportunity for education, housing and employment.
To carry out its mission effectively, Arkokby needs to have its own furnished office and urgently hire part-time staff. The estimated cost is $50,000 per annum. I appeal for donations – no matter how small. We promise to be transparent, publish what we receive and how it is spend. It is vital that we back this worthy cause, to save lives and give our people hope for their futures.
Please give generously, and anonymously if you prefer.
27 June 2022