A Journey to Sudan



In 2012 I visited Sudan. The culture, rich, and the people, kind and loving. They asked if I had culture shock, I admitted, I did not... 


Their homes not fashioned for commodity, but for necessity. An outhouse 30 feet from the main house. A shower out back. A well operated by lever and bucket. The dishes washed by hand out back in the largest pot or bowl we could find. My mothers’ sister, Amira, the youngest, attempts to humble me by pointing out the lack of running water. She shows me how to retrieve more water, how to conserve, and how to do it all with grace, love, and appreciation. Not every state was like this, but hers was. And in all this, I felt like arriving here, was like coming home.  


Two-three families would live together. The neighbors blessed with electricity would share it with as many as possible. The store down the street could be described as a 5x7 foot one room structure. All food is eaten “family style” and preferably by hand. Biscuits and coffee or tea are a household staple and served throughout the day.  


My grandmother, Sara, strong, tall, and although blind, was the most observing person I have ever encountered. She died a few years after the first civil war; the war that was currently brewing, the war that tore the country into Sudan and South Sudan.  


Sara left behind her children, grandchildren, nephews and nieces. She left behind her family, my family. Of which, five have been extricated from the new war; the war of 2023.  

Can you imagine only seeing your family once in eleven years, losing three siblings, one of which died saved a young girl from drowning, losing your father, and a few years later losing your mother? And throughout the years, you are thusly held together by hope, faith, and limited telephone communications. And now, the remainder of your family’s lives at risk daily due to the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), a rival military faction. Although there are other factions at play, the primary contributors to the massive number of casualties have been these two.  


The war began in the Spring of 2023 following the response of the Central Reserve Police towards peaceful protesters. The tension was brewing for quite some time. The RSF organized a coup in hopes of gaining control of the Sudanese government. This is the result; tens of thousands killed, hundreds of thousands seeking refuge in neighboring countries, and millions displaced.  The escalation of this thoughtless war has led to the complete desolation of several Sudanese states. The number of innocent lives taken is profound. 


The people are homeless and starving with nothing left but their names. They are trying to escape the falling bombs, random shootings and robberies, home invasions, and the inability to access necessities like food, clean water, and medicine. Women and young children are unable to retrieve their basic needs.  


I have their stories. I have their attention. Do they have yours? 




Sitreen Sinnette

Co-Founder of Save Sudan