From worried mother to community leader

On a breezy sunny day, a group of people from a community in North Darfur, Sudan come to attend a training session on hygiene and sanitation. Najat Hamid, a member of the community, leads the workshop. She is regarded as a champion of proper hygiene in her community but it wasn’t too long ago that she was sitting in these training sessions herself, hoping to learn how to protect her children’s health.

In October 2019, heavy rain and flash floods affected more than 350 000 people in Sudan. Najat and her 5 children, who live in El Kuma, were among them.

“It was a terrible flood. We got out of our destroyed homes, left the area for more than a week. We lost our clothes, our cattle, all our savings; we lost everything,” said Najat.

On top of losing their possessions, Najat feared for her children’s health. “We strived to feed our children but there was no food. We could not even light a fire for cooking as everything was wet.”

To learn all she could about keeping her family safe, Najat joined training offered by Save the Children – supported by the Humanitarian Coalition and the government of Canada – on hygiene and water chlorination. There she learned safe practices for treating water and proper hygiene, which she used to help protect her family.

Now, because of the training she received, she is the one teaching healthy practices to her community, to help keep all families safe.