search instagram arrow-down


Posts Archive


Art and Culture Child Marriage Climate Change Dynamic teaching models empowerment Folktales and literacy Food and Drink International Literacy Day Interview Muna Zaki marriage customs NIle rituals Nuba Mountains Older Women in Literacy religion and spirituality Short Film Uncategorized Water and Hygiene Women's Literacy


Bilingual English-Spanish booklet Building the Future Community Literacy Costume Griselda El Tayib definitions of literacy oral traditions dhikr Fishing songs flooding handicrafts house decoration Huntley & Palmer Biscuits Ibrahim El-Salahi prayer boards calligraphy birds impact scale and reach Jirtig Kambala Harvest Kashkosh Kujur Khartoum Mike Asher water-skins proverbs ramadán hymn Respecting cultural sensitivities river imagery Joanna Lumley Salah Elmur street scenes street art young writers Sudanese wedding customs Sufism Tayeb Salih The Doum Tree Agricultural Projects Dialogue Role Plays tea ladies coffee poetry Women in Sudanese History writers on Sudan Writing the Wrongs

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

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 20 other followers




Interested in learning more about our work? Visit Women’s Education Partnership

All photographs of WEP’s literacy work in this blog are copyright Imogen Thurbon and may not be reproduced without written permission 

Over the past five years I have had the privilege of seeing firsthand the work of Women’s Education Partnership  in bringing Arabic literacy to the communities of the internally displaced and disadvantaged of Khartoum.  This blog is dedicated to the Sudanese women I have met there and is an attempt to do justice to the remarkable life stories they tell.  It also seeks to highlight the work of two pioneers in women’s literacy in Sudan – Mrs Adila Abdel Rahman, our literacy projects coordinator, and Dr Leila Bashir, expert in the REFLECT literacy approach.

I explore the challenges and achievements of REFLECT literacy programs as I understand them and see this blog as a way to share with and learn from others in the field as our work develops and grows. See Literacy Circles in Action and Community Literacy and REFLECT to learn more.

In a small outhouse attached to a communal mosque on the very edge of Khartoum’s sprawling metropolis a women’s literacy circle meets twice a week. A bare rectangle of mud and corrugated iron traced on baked earth, the outhouse lies among the ramshackle settlements of mud brick homes that huddle low under a late afternoon sky blanched white with heat.  Its existence defies all the odds and yet is typical of all the literacy circles I have seen…..  

Read more in Literacy Circles in Action


Mrs Adila Abdel Rahman, Literacy Expert and our Projects Coordinator

It is said that those who have drunk the waters of the Nile are destined to return and that is certainly true for me. Since my time as a volunteer secondary school teacher in Northern Province in the early 80’s,  Sudan has called me back time and time again and my love and fascination for its peoples has only grown over the years. I owe the Sudanese an immense debt of gratitude for their kindness, tolerance and generosity.

Processed with Snapseed.

I hope some of that love and fascination comes across in this blog and might inspire others to visit Sudan and get involved in the transformative power of community literacy work.

Read more about the work of Women’s Education Partnership in literacy in Sudan and South Sudan here:  Women’s Education Partnership


Dr Leila Bashir, leading expert in REFLECT community literacy and Mrs Adila Abdel Rahman, literacy expert and WEP Literacy Programs Coordinator


Read more here: 100 Women changing the world

Learn more about the history, politics, culture and ethnicities of Sudan and South Sudan at the Society for Study of The Sudans UK  here: SSSUK

Learn more about Sudanese Arabic and folk culture Muna Zaki



Celebrating the Beauty and Diversity of Sudan and its Peoples

6-minute UNDP video with English subtitles


Literacy Circles in Action   Posts          

Community Literacy and REFLECT   The Power of Folktales

Upcoming Events  Literacy and Development Links

Khartoum scenes  Imogen Thurbon

Visit my other blog here:

3 comments on “About

  1. amparorj says:

    This is a great job Im to let us know your remarkable work there. The pictures are amazing! Thanks


  2. Kathryn Leavey says:

    I am so please to learn more about the important and life-changing work you are doing to address the crippling effect of illiteracy on women. Fantastic work and great photos. May this project flourish.


    1. Thank you for your vey kind comments


Leave a Reply
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: