Cambridge International School, Khartoum – Sudan |

While there is life, there is hope

We are delighted to share a blog written by Razan Mohamed Saied Ali, a student at Cambridge International School who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2018-19 Global Goals Competition.

Their project is among over 620 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community. 

Positive community action is the real deal in achieving Global Goals

Project Overview

Cambridge Young Volunteers Shaping the Future is made up eight Year 7 girls from Cambridge International School (Khartoum – Sudan), who are all driven by the passion to try something NEW – not just for ourselves, but for other young people in our community regardless of any kind of background. We have donated our lives to working together for one common goal that could redefine our lives; to develop new perspectives of life as well as to have a better sense of what is going on in our local community.

We identified Azza Mohamed Nour School, which is located about 25 minutes’ drive from our school. It is one of the poorest in our community. There are approximately 650 girls in the school, who crowd for learning space in only eight poorly furnished classrooms. On average, each class consists of 80 students. The school has no library, Science and ICT labs.

Realising how dilapidated and inadequately resourced Azza Mohamed Nour School is as compared to our state of the art modern international school, we are inspired to provide quality education opportunities to pupils from that school. We are inspired to share some of our resources with them to ensure no pupil goes without basic schooling needs to survive the 21st Century. We want all young girls at Azza Mohamed Nour School to enjoy being young.

Our main project aims include:

  1. To foster in ourselves as young people, a sense of concern for caring, inclusiveness, Global Citizenship and volunteerism.
  2. To turn our own young ideas, creativity and passion into concrete intervention through interactive and collaborative community actions.
  3. To connect our school with Azza Mohamed Nour School in order to develop creative community actions that meet 21st Century needs.

Our aims are being conveyed through a 12 – 15 week community based volunteer programme focused on engaging ourselves as young willing volunteers to connect with other young people from Azza Mohamed Nour School.

The projects will provide us with experiencing the challenges of making time to positively help, contribute, share, collaborate and then turn our youthful ideas, creativity and passion into concrete intervention through active and responsible community action. We will learn to give something to the needy pupils at Azza Mohamed Nour School, share skills and pursue personal interests such as dedicating our lives to the vision and goal of care, creativity and action.

We have been inspired to gain a greater understanding and respect for everyone in our community and engage in activities that promote principles of inclusiveness (equality), diversity and creation of sustainable connections or relationships.

Thanks GSL Team for giving us the power to do things that we have never done before!

So far, we have:

  • raised 46, 041 Sudanese Pounds for Azza Mohamed Nour school through funding activities at our school that included a Civvies or No Uniform Day (we expect to raise at least 60,000 SDG {Sudanese Pounds}). The money is being used to convert a room into a school library. A carpenter from the community has been contracted to make and fit book shelves and tables
  • donated clothes and toys for the children at Azza Mohamed Nour School, which we will handover at a ceremony in April 2019
  • to raised awareness that social inequalities can be reduced through peer educational activities and sharing, so we connected with Year 8 girls from Azza Mohamed Nour School through having English communication and grammar lessons
  • donated books to establish a school library, stationary and other learning materials to Azza Mohamed Nour School, which will also be handed over at a ceremony in April 2019 after the library has been completed
  • donated and installed whiteboards to one of the eight classrooms and board markers
  • shared knowledge and skills of digital technologies with young girls from Azza Mohamed Nour School (using digital technologies, taking pictures, editing and posting, creating presentations, computer typing skills, exploring different apps)
  • shared knowledge of safer internet practices
  • brought awareness of Global Issues through engaging Year 8 girls at Azza Mohamed Nour School to openly discuss about: Who Am I? How young people can change the world and Our Dreams for the future
  • learn side by side with Year 8 students from Azza Mohamed Nour School
  • engaged Azza Mohamed Nour School Year 8 girls in a local students’ exchange programme where they visited our school and took lessons in ICT in the ICT lab and Science in the Science lab. We also watched 3D films. The girls from Azza Mohamed Nour School had never done ICT and Science practical lessons before.

We are planning to officially open the new library at the beginning of April 2019 and officially hand it over to Azza Mohamed Nour School staff and students. We also planned to engage the Year 8 girls from Azza Mohamed Nour School to decorate the library walls after the March 2019 examinations.

Furthermore, we will hand over all other donated learning materials for example, whiteboards for the remaining seven classes, second hand desks and chairs, library books, toys and clothes to Azza Mohamed Nour School. Our BIG INSPIRATION is to make sure we sustain our newly found relationship with Azza Mohamed Nour School for a very very long time.

Group members’ names are:
1. Razan Mohamed Saied Ali
2. Reela Abdalla Sirelkhatim Abdalla (
3. Siba Mohammad Bassam Abuhajle,
4. Beyza Reyhan Kali,
5. Razan Hassan Hayder

6. Ebba Izzeldin Mohamed Ahmed Nasir,
7. Hanin TarigHamednalla Ahmed,
8. Maab Mohamed Eisa Ateem

Project Leader/Group Adviser: Mr. Owen Shamu

Our Journey

We have developed the power to donate ourselves to do things we have never done before. We have never worked together as a group for a long time. Our personal relationships have been strengthened. We feel for each other and we feel we are getting emotionally stronger as we were scared and nervous in the beginning.

We are becoming more confident with each encounter we have with girls from Azza Mohamed Nour School. We feel we are in charge and in control of our own decisions. We feel responsible to finish our tasks and accomplish a better world. We feel like we are redefining and rediscovering ourselves. We are being inspired each day by global events especially those that are related to community involvement.

We have learned to cooperate positively with new people embracing their ideas and thoughts too. We are hopeful for a brighter future. Indeed we now understand that wherever there is life there is hope for better things, development and hope for peace and engagement despite social classes created by community.

Yes! HOPE is the biggest word.

We almost dumped the proposal after nationwide protests rocked the whole of Sudan in December 2018. All schools in Sudan were forced to close from 13th December 2018 to 13th January 2019. We couldn’t meet at school as usual. Internet access became limited because of closure from the Sudanese government. Our group adviser (Mr. Owen Shamu) held meetings with us at his home. He filled us with renewed HOPE!

He showed us inspiring community projects videos from around the world including those from previous Global Goals Competition.

Yes! Mr. Owen became our greatest inspiration for our RENEWED HOPE, so we got back on track again! We are not afraid of leading anymore. We will persevere until the end even when it appears tough. We are managing to pull through despite the crisis and tension in Sudan at the moment.

The Next Chapter

We will collect and document all our expenses. We will use participatory appraisal techniques through conducting individual face to face interviews and group discussions with Year 8 girls at Azza Mohamed Nour School. We will use satisfactory survey questionnaires to measure impact of project and record videos of our activities.

After having rediscovered our hidden passions, we now feel the courage and strength that we can change the world, even with our young ideas and contributions. We feel nothing is impossible as long as if we have a strong will to ACT. No one can stop us other than ourselves. People are not chosen to be who they are; they chose who they want to be. We will never be scared to try new things. We will always believe that, while there is life, there is hope … and that hope is us.

Hope is our victory!

The 2018-19 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2019. If you belong to one of the 700+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.