We are unique in the trust we have built among the Sudanese community in the UK. A lot of this comes from the dedication we show to individuals in their journey to integration through our casework, but also from the years of campaigning we have undertaken alongside community leaders and diaspora groups. This trust is not freely given to most external organisations, the diaspora remains wary because of ways the Sudanese Embassy monitors, threatens, and seeks to sow division in the community – something we have documented extensively in our reports. Our commitment and care for individuals, and our shared cause of peace for Sudan, means we are able to form a bridge between this sometimes closed and fractious diaspora and UK institutions and organisations.
We maintain this trust through regular contact and meetings with community leaders, collaborating with them on campaigns and events , and responding to the needs of their members, for instance by running training on request. We make the effort to travel to meet the diaspora where they are settled, and hold regular meetings in places like Birmingham, Cardiff, Manchester, and Leicester.
We are also sensitive to the fact that not all of the Sudanese we meet will want to engage in our more political campaigning work, and have tried hard to celebrate Sudan for its vast cultural diversity as well. In 2013 we held a Darfur Cultural Day to celebrate the tribes and communities from that region, and in 2017 we repeated the endeavour but this time extended the event to cover the whole of Sudan. This was heralded as the first event of its kind, not just in the UK, but in Sudan itself, where identity is still a source of tension between central riverine and predominantly Arab elite, and those living elsewhere.
Our trust within the Sudanese community is unparalleled, and forms the backbone of our organisation. Its impact is felt in each of our other activities.