By Miriam Scharf (NEU and MENA Solidarity)
On 10th and 11th April Rania Mohamed and Sanaa Alsabag were guests of the National Education Union at the 2022 NEU Conference in Bournemouth. Hundreds of delegates received our newsletter reporting on the teachers strike in Sudan. Over 40 delegates signed up to be contacts to build support for the Sudanese revolution. All were encouraged to take the solidarity motion to their union branches. Over 50 delegates and visitors took selfies to share their solidarity on social media, amongst these were Joint Secretary Kevin Courtney, President Daniel Kebede and ex-president, now Baroness, Christine Blower. Rania and Sanaa worked tirelessly talking to delegates at meetings, at the Sudan Teachers’ Committee stall, and all around conference, raising awareness and encouraging engagement.
“It was an honour to have representatives of the Sudanese Teachers Committee at NEU Conference. The stall was constantly busy and the knowledge and understanding they were able to share with NEU members during the conference was fantastic. Many more members now know about the situation for our colleagues in Sudan and will be raising their voices back in their local districts.”Louise Regan, NEU National Executive
The Sudan Education Working Group, hosted by Louise Regan National NEU Officer, has been meeting since the beginning of the year. NEU International Solidarity Officers organised a meeting in the NW and the London ISO network hosted a speaker on 21st April.
The welcoming and enthusiastic response at NEU Conference shows we can widen the solidarity movement. The revolution in Sudan, the fight for civilian government, for bread, freedom and justice, needs the support of trade unionists and activists throughout the world.
Find out more about how to get involved below.
By Rania Mohamed and Sanaa Alsabag (Sudan Uprising Support group)
As a Sudanese Uprising Support group, we started working NEU in their work of solidarity with Sudan revolution. We worked together in the solidarity conference held on the 24th of January 2022. We continued to meet regularly and discuss ways to make this solidarity more effective. It was agreed to link the Union in the UK with some active trade unions in Sudan. We started with the Sudanese Teachers Committee which is one of the biggest unions in Sudan. The Sudanese Teachers Committee started to attend meetings to give updates on the situation in Sudan and particularly with regards to teachers, students and education in the country.
The main goals for this work are:
1/ To show solidarity with the Sudanese teachers in their battle to restore democracy and develop quality education
2/ To support the Sudanese Teachers’ Committee (STC) to be recognised globally and raise awareness about the Sudanese revolution
3/ To exchange experience and share skills
4/ To help STC with training and develop union work skills
The NEU invited two Sudanese teachers to the National Education Union Conference 2022 in Bournemouth. Due to the current unrest in Sudan and the challenges facing Sudanese teachers it was impossible to arrange for them to attend from Sudan. So, it was agreed that two representatives from the Sudan Uprising Group would attend to advocate for the STC. The NEU kindly hosted the representatives, and a stall was booked for the event. The NEU prepared the stall and printed including a newsletter detailing the current STC struggles and their strike since 10 March 2022. The stall was well attended and many selfies were taken by Educators and other conference delegates in solidarity with the teachers in Sudan.
The experience for us as advocates for Sudanese Teachers was very exciting and it was also a good learning curve. We managed to talk to a good number of delegates about the Sudanese revolution since December 2018 and how Sudanese people decided to continue with their demands for a civilian rule and a dignified life despite the brutality they are facing. It was a great opportunity for us to network with different people from different organisations. Miriam from the NEU worked hard at the stall using her wide network with teachers to raise their awareness regarding the Sudan revolution and the STC strikes. We talked about issues such as dismissals, detentions and the continuing persecution faced by the teachers all over Sudan. We also managed to raise funds through a bucket at the stall to help the STC continue their endeavour for better education and a prosperous Sudan.
What you can do:
- Download and distribute the NEU Sudan Update
- Invite a speaker from the Sudan Education Working Group to your union meeting: use the contact form here
- If you are an educator and would like to get involved in the Sudan Education Working Group please use this contact form
- Find more resources and background information here