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Ibrahim El-Salahi Pain Relief at The Saatchi Gallery, London

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Community Literacy


Why This Blog?   Why Literacy Matters  The Cultural Context 

What are we doing now?  

See Khartoum Update,  Keeping People at the Heart of Literacy and Latest News


Women’s Education Partnership 

Why this Blog?  Why Literacy Matters  The Cultural Context 

Some Background 


What if you suddenly couldn’t read or write?  How would you cope?

Click on the blogpost above to  understand the daily challenges facing those living with illiteracy and how  women’s community literacy can change lives in Sudan.

img_2365 Key data for our literacy work are in At a Glance and Facts and Figures 



Why this Blog? Why Literacy Matters The Cultural Context 

Why this Blog?


Read more in Literacy Circles in Action

Women’sLiteracySudan opens a window onto the remarkable lives of the women attending the community literacy circles of Women’s Education Partnership in Khartoum and hopes to share with and learn from others in the fields of women’s community literacy and empowerment.


The pages and Posts in this blog charter the pioneering community-building work of WEP’s Arabic literacy workers delivering REFLECT joint literacy and development programs to disadvantaged communities in Sudan.   REFLECT is a community-driven approach to education and development  where the wealth of knowledge and experience of local people are recognized as key to bringing about successful longterm change. Learn more about Community Literacy and REFLECT and see our Literacy Circles in Action


Hajj Jusif Literacy Circle – our Country Director, Mrs Neimat Issha, admiring traditional food covers made by participants out of recycled plastic as part of numeracy and income generation skills

See Weaving Brighter Futures for more on our handicraft training 

IMG_8987Discussing annual household income and expenditure in our literacy sessions


Why this Blog? Why Literacy Matters The Cultural Context 

Why Literacy Matters

The UN recognizes the urgent need for worldwide action on adult literacy and acknowledges that women throughout the world are disproportionally disadvantaged by illiteracy.  REFLECT literacy and development programs have received UN recognition as effective and sustainable.

You can read about the life-changing impact of literacy programs on gender equality, health, mobility and livelihood here: Writing the Wrongs

United Nations International Literacy Day 2018 International Literacy Day

Read about UN’s Sustainable Development Goals


Dr Leila Bashir, expert in REFLECT community literacy, explaining how human rights awareness is an integral part of community literacy work


Some Scenes from our Literacy Circles 



Please consider giving to our life-changing work. Just click on the link below to donate quickly and securely:

Women’s Education Partnership Donate


Below, one of our proud literacy graduates with her certificate.



Why this Blog? Why Literacy Matters The Cultural Context 


The Cultural Context 

As well as discussing the challenges and achievements of our women’s Arabic community literacy work in my posts,   I explore aspects of Sudanese cultural life which reflect the beauty and diversity of this fascinating country. 

For a taste of our cultural posts, see cultural posts spring 2022 and

Selected Cultural Posts 2022    Selected Cultural Posts 2021   A Taste of a Sudanese Summer 2022   

See the remarkable work of Amel Bashir Taha in –

Amel Bashir Taha Delicate Defiance


My latest cultural posts on Sudanese Incense Incense (بخور bakhūr) in Sudan and Perfume 


The Clove’s Fragrance

See some of my other cultural posts here: “A Necklace of Shells from Distant Seas…”,  Uncle Abdur-Raheem,  Scenes from Sudan’s Northern Province,1980s,  

See too: 

Hair Braiding in Northern Sudan

 Anointing in Robes of Red and Gold and Kambala


If you are interested in improving your Sudanese Arabic, you might find my upcoming  monthly blog useful: 

Sudanese Arabic Documentary Transcriptions



All Photographs in this blog are copyright Imogen Thurbon and may not be reproduced without written permission.

Interested in supporting our work? Click below to learn more about us:

Women’s Education Partnership


As this blog aims to promote understanding of and dialogue around Sudanese women’s educational, cultural and community life, no comments of a political or culturally divisive nature will be published.


Literacy Circles in Action   Posts          

Community Literacy and REFLECT   The Power of Folktales

Upcoming Events  Literacy and Development Link


Visit my other blog here


20 comments on “Community Literacy

  1. kpettus says:

    Beautiful photos Im! Congratulations.


    1. Thank you so much, Katherine.


      1. boswyck says:

        I’m now able to read this properly. Absolutely superb. Many Congratulations Imogen for this inspirational insight.


  2. jeremily2017 says:

    Amazing photos! thanks for posting!


    1. Thank you for your kind comment and interest!


  3. munaizaki says:

    Stunning photos! Wonderful eye-catching content!


    1. Thank you dear Muna!


  4. ibnnyaoka says:

    Dear Imogen,

    I have named myself after a mysterious character from the ancient folklore of Faras in northern Sudan.

    Kikiláañ Ibn Nyaóka Abu’l Miya, Jidd al-Alf.

    I’m not sure whether Nyaóka was a Kandáaka or an Eparch.



    1. That’s wonderful, Herman! I need to learn more about ibnnyaoka – perhaps in August?


      1. ibnnyaoka says:

        We can visit the Sudan art exhibition in he Ashmolean.


      2. ibnnyaoka says:

        I love the Sudan because it is the Home of Literacy.
        The people of Sudan were literate more than 2000 years before the English were literate.
        The women of Sudan know the power of literacy.
        Ma sha Allah !


  5. ibnnyaoka says:

    We can visit the Sudan art exhibition in the Ashmolean.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 77louise says:

    Beautiful! Real inspirational feeling transmitted in the images. Thank you.


    1. Thank you so much, Louise.


  7. normwep says:

    Superb photos Imogen, thanks for letting me show some of these to our women’s group at my local church – everyone was captivated


  8. nicolalondon says:

    Thank you Imogen. Teaching women to fish! Literacy is a wonderful thing. I am sure the beauty of your blog reflects the essence of the programme; the women must be learning in an inspiring and uplifting environment.


  9. huwjarvis says:

    Great work, many congratulations. Like you (?) my life-long work in language education can be traced back to teaching English in Sudan in the early 80s. Keep up this good work #WonderfulPeople #WonderfulPlace . Huw Jarvis, Editor & Founder of


  10. Islam says:

    Love blog and photo’s makes me want to go Sudan and have coffee with Salma.


    1. You are so kind, Islam. Your kind words mean a lot to me, knowing your dedication and wonderful work.


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