AlMassar Charity Organization for Nomads Development and Environment Conservation




Al-Massar Profile

Who We Are?

*      Al Massar is a Sudanese based non-governmental organization (NGO)
established on the 12 December 2001.  The organization has been officially registered with  the  Humanitarian  Aid  Commission            (HAC)  in accordance with  the  current rules  & regulations  applied  to  NGOs.  Al Massar is the first Sudanese NGO to work sole on the special needs of Nomadic people.

Vision, Mission & Objectives

Our Vision!

*      To engage in the real life of the Nomads and Pastoralists of Sudan, to foresee and draw out what should consequently provide a better life through achieving  Sustainable Development.

Our Mission!

*      Recognize the important roles of Nomads and Pastoralists in Sustainable Development.

*      Increase the actual participation of Nomad pastoralists in Sustainable Development, Environmental conservation & their influence in the process.


Our Objectives!

*      AlMassar is committed to realize her goals, including the following interventions:  

*      Peace: reduction of resource based conflict (farmers’ vs. nomads).

*      Education: increased enrollment & retention of nomadic children in basic education.

*      Health: increased access for nomadic pastoralists to primary health care.

*      Gender: female emancipation through awareness raising and income generation activities.

*      Environment: Range rehabilitation and management

*      Water: Improved supply & management of resources.

*      Livestock: Improved animal health and animal production.


Al massar ideology and goals

The goal of Al Massar organization is:


"To assist the Nomadic communities of Sudan in achieving a sustainable form of development."







Outline above is the strategy that Al Massar has chosen to achieve its mission statement. The fundamental problem of reaching this goal is the transitory nature of nomadic societies. Therefore, Al Massar proposes the establishment of a series of integrated development/learning centers in selected sites along the tradition migratory routes of Nomadic people. Such centers will act as modern day oasis providing essential human services, education, health, clean water etc. Al Massar hopes that such development centers will also act as the nucleus for the gradual and voluntary settlement of nomadic communities.

Human development, however, must not be to the detriment of environmental   considerations.   It   is   Al   Massar's   conviction   that development and environmental protection need to be complementary and integrated. Indeed, Al Massar believes that the gradual and voluntary settlement of nomads will never be achieved without the rehabilitation of the existing resource base. Such environmental resource improvements
should benefit not compromise the integrity and quality of natural systems























Strcture of organization


Organisation: The core of Al Massar is the General Committee which comprises of the organizations members. The General Committee elects the executive body with the mandate to tackle the members concerns and problems.



















Organization Chart







Democratic: Electoral process and the regulations of terms of office are set out in the Constitution: The key points of which are:







The current members of the executive body as well as its structure are illustrated below:






Mr.Osman Hussein Abubaker


General Director

Dr.Babeker Alshekh


Executive Director

Dr.Altahir Khatir


Executive Maneger

Asma Mohamed Makii


Finance Maneger

Ensaf Aballa


Project Maneger

Dr.Mayada Altib



Shaza Almahi



Ahmed satii



Ahmed Bilal



Mohamed Zeinelabdeen


Risk management and decision analysis

Dr.Abdalmonam Abu sin


Studies & Reaches


Accountability: The executive body is made accountable to the General Committee by the following mechanisms:














Activities & Projects


General Committee













Grass Root committees: As previously mentioned the general committee is drawn from members of the community. They are encouraged to organize them selves along the following lines:
























General Guidelines:

§  All posts in the development and sub committees must be chosen democratically.

§  The Chairman of the Development Committee will be the official Al Massar representative in the area.

§  All Sub-Committee chairmen must be members of the Development Committee.

§  The development committee should meet monthly.

§  Sub-Committees should report to the development committee on a quarterly basis.





Rounded Rectangle: Head Office
Offices: Al Massar currently maintains a head office in Khartoum and regional offices in the Eastern and Western States of Sudan.




Rounded Rectangle: Kassala Office
,Rounded Rectangle: Al Gadaref Office
Al Gadaref
,Rounded Rectangle: Eastern Region
(Al Gadaref & Kassala)
,Rounded Rectangle: South Darfur Office
,Rounded Rectangle: North Darfur Office
El Fasher
,Rounded Rectangle: West Darfur Office
El Geneina
,Rounded Rectangle: Western Region
(Darfur & Kordofan)
,Rounded Rectangle: Regonal offices 
(Equatoria & Bahr el Gazal)
,Rounded Rectangle: Established 
,Rounded Rectangle: Proposed
,Rounded Rectangle: chad
,Rounded Rectangle: Centaral Africa
,Rounded Rectangle: Al Dmazin
Al Gadaref
,Rounded Rectangle: Blue Nile 
(Al Gadaref & Kassala)
,Rounded Rectangle: East  Darfur Office
,Rounded Rectangle: South Kordfan Office
,Rounded Rectangle: Central   Darfur Office

























Offices (Cont.): The head office and the three regional offices are staffed by the following human resources – 75Full-time Staff – 250 Part-time Volunteers (See section below). The sub-offices are maintained on a part time basis by the member of the relevant development committees in that locality. Each of Al Massar’s five permanently staffed offices are well equipped with the relevant offices fixtures & fittings. Communications between the offices is maintained by a telephone line in each location. Additionally, each office has been provided with a least one computer for the sole preserve of office tasks. Al Massar organization also maintains 2 vehicles which are at the disposal of the offices to allow staff to visit the target areas and monitor the progress of projects.


Human Resources: Al Massar relies on a mixture of full time and part time staff as well as paid and unpaid volunteers for the implementation of it’s activities. Core tasks, however are undertaken by the following full time and part time staff in the organization:-


The organization’s Human Resources








General Director

Full time


Post Graduate

Executive Director

Full time




Full time





Full time



Public Relations

Part time






Project Manager

Full time


Post Graduate


Full time



M&E officer

Part time


Post Graduate

West Darfur  State

Area Representative

Full time



North Darfur State

Area Representative

Full time



South Darfur State

Area Representative

Full time



Al Gadaref State

Area Representative

Full time



Kassala State

Area Representative

Full time



Media office


Full time


Post Graduate


Part time









Nomads in Sudan

Nomads are a group of people who moves from place to place as a way of obtaining food, finding pasture for livestock, or otherwise making a living. The word nomad comes from a Greek word that means one who wanders for pasture. Most nomadic groups follow a fixed annual or seasonal pattern of movements and settlements. Nomadic peoples traditionally travel by animal or canoe or on foot. Most nomads live in tents or other portable shelters.

Most nomads travel in groups of families called bands or tribes. These groups are based on kinship and marriage ties or on formal agreements of cooperation. A council of adult males makes most of the decisions, though some tribes have chiefs.

The economy of Sudan is based on a combination of pastoral and agro-pastoral livestock production by farming and herding households in almost every region and state. Recent reviews indicate that livestock have consistently provided more than 60% of the estimated value added by agriculture to the Sudanese economy and indicate that livestock are a substantially more important contributor to national agricultural GDP than crop farming (Behnke 2012)

Geographical distribution of nomads

According to fifth census of Sudan in 2008 that the nomadic population of 2,778,774 people[1]. They are so make forgotten 7, 1% of the total population of the country. The census showed the population that there is growing for a number nomadic population compared to statistics for the year 1993, a growth rate of 9.2%.this growth has been interpreted in a number of reasons.; The first is; that there was a miscalculation of the number of nomads in the statistics because there were not clear and form their own integrated. Secondly; old Statistics often rely on projections from the previous statistics, as well as on previous growth rates. Finally; nomadic communities are reluctant to participate in the census for many social and cultural reasons.
A Note from the fifth census results; that there is a noticeable decrease in the number of nomads in the states of the Gazira and the nearby Nile River from Khartoum, the capital. And due to the fact that; these areas had become settlement areas for the agricultural and industrial communities. The census results also indicate that most of the nomads are concentrated in the west of Sudan, specifically in the states of Darfur and Kordofan. The record of South Darfur state (now become the states of the south and east of Darfur) has the bulk of the nomads, where we find 58.2% of the nomads in Darfur states, and 19.6% in the states of North and South Kordofan. On other hand there are about 16.1% in eastern Sudan in Kassala and the Red Sea. The rest of the nomads are deployed in the rest of the states in smaller numbers and percentages.

Nomads in Darfur

 Because the vast majority of nomads in Sudan live in western Sudan, especially in Darfur, it is the best   example to address the situation of nomads in Darfur as an example of what is their experience in other parts of Sudan other.
Darfur is located in the far west of Sudan between latitudes 9 to 22 N and latitude 22 to 28 E, with an area of ​​549,000 square kilometers. It is divided into five states with  some international border. The Darfur in third place in terms of space as an area of ​​the states of Greater Darfur almost 570.888square km( 140.000 square miles), equivalent to 20% of the area of ​​Sudan, located States in Belts desert, semi-desert, savannah rich, and savanna poor. It has borders with  four African countries and this is  not the case in any other state in the Sudan, at north it is  bordered by  Libya,  the Republic of Chad at west,  the Central African Republic at south-west, in addition to the Republic of south Sudan, where nomadic  represents high percentage of the population of these States. The annual rainfall in the region ranges between zero mm in the north in the desert region to 750 mm in the south in the savannah areas.
Arabic word (Dar) means in general (homeland). And the Darfur region can be divided broadly into many homes, not only for the (Fur) tribes as the name suggests, but to many other ethnic groups. Generally Ethnicity   in Darfur is not with definitive borders due to existence of long history of ethnic intermingling and inter-marriage between Arab tribes and non-Arab, which is now marked by common cultural and linguistic relationships    more than ethnic.
In reality now, regarding the ethnic diversity and social and cultural differences as a cause   of unrest in the west of Sudan, although it remained a factor of peaceful coexistence for a number of years, it can play ground role as previously towards building peace and tolerance. Despite security challenges, political, cultural, economic and humanitarian complex surrounding states of western Sudan, the cultural factors that affect the understanding of democracy, human rights and peace-building tolerance and the issues of disparity of development are the key issues that need nomads in the area to adapt and create mechanisms capable of transformation Furthermore,  the separation of South Sudan and the presence of overlapping natural movement nomads to related areas of South Sudan. 

Geographical Focus  

The focus of current activities and the  Strategic Work Plans are the five states of Greater Darfur, South Kordofan state and Gadarif state. These areas supports a sizeable nomadic population,  who  presently  suffer  from a  range  of  difficulties,  such  as resource conflict, illiteracy, range land deterioration etc.

The size of these areas and limitations of resources means that efforts must be focused. The Strategic Work Plan, therefore, calls for the creation of integrated development centers where activities may complement and sustain each other.  It is also hoped that such centers will act as catalysts
for development in the wider community.   Contained in this Work Plan are the foundations of such Development Centers (D.C.s) located at strategic positions along the migratory routes of nomad.The Strategic Work plan also envisages the expansion of activities into other areas and provinces. The proposed areas of expansion are to the west and east of Greater Darfur (Chad and Kordofan). The vast distances that nomads traverse, often across international borders, means that Al Massar must expanded its area of operations if it is to achieve the mission statement outlined above.

Priorities of workplans

The key priority  is the identification and understanding of the problems facing nomads.  The current lack of information about the situation regarding nomads is seen as a major inhibiting factor to future initiatives. This priority forms part of a wide strategy on the road to sustainable development

Notched Right Arrow: Deacrease Al Massar intervention Left Arrow Callout: 1-3 yearsLeft Arrow Callout: 3-5 yearsLeft Arrow Callout: 3-8 yearsLeft Arrow Callout: 5-10 years





1-  Education programme


Education is both a human value in itself and a strong leverage of human development. The government of Sudan has the goal of universal basic education. Implied in this objective is a fair distribution of educational opportunities among states and between sexes; and education efficiency and near-zero drop-out rates[2].

Nomads education

 Of the 61 million out-of-school primary school age children around the world, including 32 million girls,[3] some 3.2 million live in Sudan[4].With half of Sudan’s 30 million citizens under the age of 18, and one in two living in poverty, investment in equitable access to quality education is critical for the country’s future. Following the secession of South Sudan in June 2011, the country faces economic challenges, loss of oil revenue, persistent poverty, conflict and recurring drought. Sudan still faces significant challenges to meet the MDG 2 goal of universal primary education by 2015. While great strides have been made in improving access to education over the past ten years in Sudan, today the national basic education enrolment is 73.2% (76.8% for boys and 69.4 % for girls).[5]  Regional disparities are high when urban/rural differences and gender are considered. The worst off are pastoral children of which 79.6 percent are out of school.[6]


About 20% of the total numbers of out of school children (OoSC) in Sudan are nomadic, yet nomads represent only 8.5% of the total population.[7]Pastoralist girls are almost four times less likely to go to school than rural girls, and five times less likely than girls in urban areas, according to the 2008 census. Even though 25% of the Darfur population is pastoral and agro-pastoral, pastoral schools make up only 15% of all basic schools. The states with highest concentration of nomadic populations in Sudan are;  North Darfur 71%, South Kordofan 60% , South Darfur and  59% .Out of the 760,037 school age population (6-14 years), only 167,720 or 22.1% have access to school, and only 8.1% are girls.[8] 

Providing education services for IDPs and nomads in northern Sudan remains a significant challenge because they are perpetually on the move. Data on the size of these population groups is scarce, and there is great variation in available estimates. For example, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there were 4.9 million IDPs in Sudan (including South Sudan), with 2.6 million located in the Darfur region alone. Among these vulnerable groups, the share of girls in basic education is smaller than that in regular schools. The share of girls in pastoral schools is 38 percent and in IDP schools, 44 percent compared with 47 percent in regular government schools. These figures suggest that girls are at a greater disadvantage within the vulnerable population groups, particularly nomads.

Barriers to quality basic education among nomadic communities


1.     School related barriers:


An insufficient school facility relevant to the needs of nomadic children is a major barrier.  The total number of pastoral schools in North Darfur is just 176, or 607 classrooms for 21,832 enrolled children at basic level. These pastoralist schools are made of local materials without proper seating or teaching equipment, while those in remote rural locations tend to be under trees, prone to danger and exposure to the elements. The absence of health and water facilities along the migratory route of these communities, and in the schools in the area, leads parents to withdraw their children to fetch water. Due to both their mobile nature and poor delivery of government services, pastoralists enjoy fewer government services than those in sedentary villages in these areas. 


Lack of appropriate teaching materials: Lack of school text books and notebooks is prevalent among pastoral schools; 33.5 percent of students lack Arabic language text books, 28.5 percent do not have Islamic studies books, 34.5 percent do not have mathematics books and 95 percent lack science books. This shortage places extra burden on parents to cover the cost of books, creating an additional disincentive for parents from the targeted communities.

Poor quality and number of teachers: The non-availability of qualified teachers for nomadic schools is a major hurdle for the Ministry of Education in all locations. It is estimated that the Teacher Pupil Ratio among nomadic schools is 1:48 as opposed to 1:34 in regular basic schools in Sudan. This is mainly due to chronic illiteracy among adults from these communities. The literacy rate among nomadic communities stands at a mere 16%. Teachers from other communities are unwilling to relocate and take up assignments in nomadic schools due to the absence of adequate incentives and the general hardships related to nomadic livelihoods. Most teachers currently providing services for nomadic schools are local volunteers, who lack adequate resources and skills to deliver the full curriculum. Most volunteer teachers have received one month training courses offered by the Ministry of Education for Nomadic teachers and have not had refresher courses or additional  learning opportunities.  The cost of transferring MoE teachers to these communities is high and often results in high turnover. Of the 4,312 teachers in 1,599 pastoral schools, 36 percent are not trained and lack higher secondary education, while another 35 percent of teachers lack pastoral education teacher guides.

Unsatisfactory education delivery mechanisms: Three models of education prevail among the pastoral communities:


1. Khalwas religious schools offer free additional courses for approximately three years of schooling. These schools are closely tied to pastoral life because lessons take place in the evening; they are almost entirely funded by communities and are geared for both girls and boys. Schools are established on an informal basis, while teachers are untrained, part-time volunteers from the local community. Subject matter is narrow, quality is often poor and these schools are poorly integrated with formal schools.


2. Mobile schools offer classes only up to fourth grade with curriculum that covers mathematics, history, Arabic and Islamic studies. Students are taught in mixed age groups due to the low number of pupils and the varying relationship between student age and educational level. Mobile schools face high turnover of teachers due to the tough living conditions and isolation of pastoral communities. The intensive, structured nature of study means that children who are absent for long periods – a common occurrence in pastoral life – often fall behind or drop out.


3. Boarding schools offer uninterrupted education for children from remote, pastoral communities and provide an opportunity to continue education after class four. Female boarding schools enable more girls to attend school. Boarding houses promote social contact and acculturation between sedentary populations and pastoralists. However these schools are expensive, and with very low government spending on education and reduced subsidies, they are unaffordable for poor families. (UNICEF Nomadic education evaluation report 2010)

2.      Community related barriers

Parents’ inability to cover education-related expenses: The localities and states are mandated to mobilize funds for education service delivery, yet low revenue at state and local level has limited their ability to do so. As such, the cost of education, books, informal fees and teachers’ incentives are being pushed down to parents. Income levels are very low among pastoralists, especially now in the post-conflict scenario where animal assets and markets have failed to provide sufficient income.

Pastoral livelihood patterns and their impact on education: Due to the seasonal mobility of the target communities, access to conventional education services is very limited. Cattle-rearing by boys is an important input to family labor and hinders school attendance (even to flexible mobile schools) while girls are burdened with heavy domestic chores. The communities’ tribal governance system limits their representation and participation in formal local or state level governance structures. This, in turn, limits their ability to advocate and mobilize services. In pastoral communities, wealth and prosperity is measured by the number of cattle owned; therefore, cattle-rearing is preferred over formal education that is not seen to directly improve local livelihoods. High levels of adult illiteracy results in parents not sending their children to school, can impede Parents and Teachers Associations involvement and limits communities’ capacity to engage and dialogue with formal education institutions.


Harmful traditional attitudes and practices impeding girls’ ability to access education: Child marriage for girls aged 13-15 years is a deeply-rooted, common custom particularly among poorer communities and families. During periods of hardship, families marry off their daughters to earn dowry, gain status by obtaining cattle or to offset hardships of having numerous children. It is estimated that girls in the poorest 20 percent of families are more than three times as likely to be married before age 18 than girls in the richest 20 percent. Besides the severe health implications associated with early pregnancy, early marriage increases responsibilities, significantly reducing the amount of time and space to interact outside the small family circle and usually ends a girl’s schooling. Patriarchal community norms encourage resource allocation in favors of sons. Due to the widely held norm that boys and men are the breadwinners of the family and that sons carry the family identity, boys are endowed with resources, including education, decision-making and influence on family matters from an early age.

Education Objectives

Al Massar has the following objectives regarding education:

*      Assessment of social, economic, ecological and cultural situation of nomadic societies.

*      Improvement of the provision of educational services to nomads.

*      Innovative, sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for education delivery in areas with a low population density.

*      Participation of nomads in the establishment of schools.

*      Strengthening of networks and collaborations of private and public, profit-making and charitable, as well as university and development institutions.

*      Provide education that is responsive and relevant to nomadic people.

*      Increase enrollment among nomadic children in elementary education (Classes 1-4), especially girls & reduce the elementary dropout rate among nomadic children.

*      Increase the opportunity for adult education among nomadic people.


Education achievements

1/ rehabilitation and construction of 583 schools

2/ rehabilitation and construction of more than 800 teachers' offices

3/ construction of more than 50 child club

4/ training for more than 3000 teacher in different topics

5/ distributed of school kits for more than 214150 pupils

6/ provision of school uniform for more than 6900 nomadic pupils

7/ construction of more than 13 Khalwas.

8/ Seating for more than 1000 pupils (girls and boys ) in nomadic schools

9/ Trained more than 1000 PTA’s at schools.

10/ provision of school meals for more than 24 schools

11/ establishment of illiteracy centers

12/ Signed Memorandum of Understanding with Bayan & Africa colleges, Ahlia, Ahfad and Sudan Universities. Offered scholarships for university education to nomadic students.

13 / provided scholarships for postgraduate studies inside and outside Sudan.

2-  Health  Programme :


The Sudanese government has adopted the Health for All Strategy which aims to allow universal access health. Health is also one of the key multifaceted parameter of human development.

In reference to Sudan House Hold Survey (SHHS) 2010 showed relative poor indicators for Sudan and states of Darfur showed the worst indicators in the country e.g. south Darfur state is the highest maternal mortality ratio 334.9, West Darfur 322.2 and Al Gadarif 267.1[9]

Health & nomads

The nomadic lifestyle of Pastoralists makes them extremely vulnerable to exclusion from basic services such as health. Existing health care provisions in Sudan are predominately focused on settled populations. Besides questions of equity, and their demographic importance, the fact that nomadic people can contribute to the economic development of the country is another good reason to take them into account for the planning and delivery of services[10].

Diseases out break

Recurrent out breaks of communicable diseases have been observed in some states due to increased population movement, inadequate access to water and sanitation and limited access to preventive and curative health services. In last three years different out breaks were detected in different locations as meningitis, measles, whooping cough, yellow fever…etc.

Health Objectives

Al Massar assigns a special priority to health, because of the limited access of nomads to such services.  Accordingly, Al Massar has the following objectives regarding health:

1)  Assessment of social, economic, ecological and cultural situation of nomadic societies.

2)  Improvement of the provision of health services to nomads.

3)  Innovative, sustainable and cost-efficient solutions for health care delivery in areas with a low population density.

4)  Participation of nomads in the establishment of basic services.

5)  Strengthening of networks and collaborations of private and public, profit-making and charitable, as well as university and development institutions.

6)  Health education and awareness campaigns, especially FGM & HIV/AIDs.

7)  "One Health[11] ", the interface between human and animal health in
nomadic communities.

 Currently very few ideas exist about how health services can best be provided for
nomadic populations. The concept of "One Medicine" elaborated by Calvin
Schwab, may be a point of departure. This postulates that within nomadic
societies the health of humans cannot be separated from the health of their animals.


Health Achievemnt

*      Nomads have been included among the target groups of the strategic plan since 2006

*      provision of reproductive health care programmes for more than 20000 nomad women.

*      Provision of Mental Health services for 1000 war affected women & children

*      TOT in veterinary assistance to serve the nomads.

*      Trained veterinary medical assistants to serve the nomad community.

*      Built 14 health centres and 4 mobile clinics.

*      Rehabilitated more than 3 centres for the nomads.

*      First organization to introduce  vaccination for Nomads and their cattle.

*      Health awareness sessions for nomadic women in the 5 states of Darfur.

*      Diagnoses and treatment of schiestosomaiasis for nomads’ children in Eastern Darfur State.

*      Organized campaigns for diagnosis and treatment of endemic diseases in nomads communities.

*      Created a partnership with Council for Nomads Development and Zain Communication Company to offer health and counseling services for nomads communities.

*      Supported production of Radio programs addressing health care and women health issues for the Nomads women community.

WOMAN & CHILD Programme



Women and Children represent one of the most vulnerable groups in nomadic society.  For this reasons they have been given special consideration in the Strategic Work Plan 2013-2017.

Nomadic Children

The high population growth rate of Sudan means that sizeable sections of society are children. Darfur region has a one of the highest population growth rates outside of the Nile states and Khartoum.

Children under 15 years of age account for 46.04% of the total population of N.
Darfur, 45.19%   in S. Darfur and 45.79% in W. Darfur. (CBS: Population data


Children have a critical role in nomadic communities. From an early age
they play an active role in the maintaining the transitory lifestyle of nomads.
Children are often given responsibility for tending to livestock, collection of firewood & water.  According  to  available  statistics  about 1.43  million children  and  youth (21.6%  of  all  economically  active  population)  in northern Sudan were economically active .Working children of the state’s children are highest in Darfur (45.9%), then Kordfan (35%), but only 10% in Khartoum[12].

Nomadic Women

Nomadic tribes are characterized by the seasonal movement of people and animals in the search of water and grazing. Women play a major role in maintaining this lifestyle, with responsibilities ranging from household affairs to the tending of animals. Their role has always been traditionally inferior to that of men, although they shoulder a major part of the daily work. Nomadic men, have historically only valued women in terms of their reproductive ability and their role in the home.

The patriarchal structure and ideologies inherent in Nomadic communities have resulted in gender inequality and subordination. Women lag behind their men in all the major indicators of social and human development. Women’s health, nutritional and educational levels are significantly lower than those of men. Nomadic women are home-makers but not home owners. She is also a farmer or animal herder but does not own any land or livestock. She grows food, but has no control over it.

Women & Child Objectives  

Al Massar has the following objectives regarding Women and Children:

1)  To identify and understand the current issues affecting nomadic women and children.

2)  To increase the position of women & children in nomadic society.

3)  To reduce Traditional Harmful Practices (FGM).

4)  To foster "Safe Motherhood" practices.

5)  Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC).

Women & Child Achievements

*      Trained 250 persons in small generating income projects.

*      Trained 5000 nomadic women to produce and use efficient fuel stoves.

*      Trained 350 nomadic men to collect almost extinct seeds, plant and use them as food.  

*      Trained 50 nomadic women in cheese industry

*      Rehabilitated pasturelands  through opening fire lines and seeds dispersal.

*      Organized workshops for 75 nomadic women to sell milk.

*      Enlightened 1500 nomads to use natural plants as an alternative human food.


Peace Building and Conflict Resolution


The 2011 Darfur Peace Agreement, also known as the Doha Agreement, was signed in July 2011 between the government of Sudan and the Liberation and Justice Movement. This agreement established a compensation fund for victims of the Darfur conflict, allowed the President of Sudan to appoint a Vice-President from Darfur, and established a new Darfur Regional Authority to oversee the region until a referendum can determine its permanent status within the Republic of Sudan. The agreement also provided for power sharing at the national level: movements that sign the agreement will be entitled to nominate two ministers and two four ministers of state at the federal level and will be able to nominate 20 members to the national legislature. The movements will be entitled to nominate two state governors in the Darfur region[13].

Ecological Scarcity

 The relatively tranquil setting of Darfur was profoundly disrupted during the
1980s by the prolonged drought which has persisted with only minor interruptions   since 1967.   The   ensuing   famine   has   resulted   in unprecedented   mass   population movement, impoverishment   and destitution of the inhabitants of the affected arid and semi-arid zones. This has had a dramatic effect on low and high intensity armed conflict. In this respect, Darfur has become one of the worst distressed regions in the country as well as the one most affected by the compound problems of environmental degradation and prolonged armed conflict[14].


The Struggle between Farmers and Nomads

Settled farmers and pastoralist nomads are 'causally' interlocked in a  complex solidarity/strife relationship with each other. They exercise mutual  solidarity in times of normal hardship, but in times of severe hardship,
when bodily survival is literally at stake, they engage in violent combat.  The prolonged drought has dealt a severe blow to the tradition and spirit of cooperation and tolerance between herders and farmers in the Darfur. Fuelled by presences of the existing conflict between government of Sudan and the armed movements and the influx of modern weapons, skirmishes turned into large-scale armed conflict. On both  sides  of  the  conflict  divide,  people  have  fall  back  to  their  time honored, traditional group solidarity and reciprocity. Additionally, in the past those in distresses simply moved. However, this 'exit option' is increasingly being hampered by an expanding population, large-scale mechanized farming, political and ethnic tensions and a general worsening of the
environmental situation.  Increasingly, both farmers and nomads are abandoning their homelands and move to urban centers, where food is in greater abundance and physical security is relatively better maintained[15]


Peace Objectives

Al Massar has the following objectives regarding peace:

1)  Assessment of social, economic, ecological and cultural situation of nomadic societies.

2)  To decelerate the tide of ecological conflict in Darfur (Farmers vs Nomads, Nomads vs Nomads & lawlessness).

3)  To reduce the impact of resource conflict on communities in Darfur.

4)  To tackle root causes of ecological conflict i.e. resource scarcity.

Peace Achievements

*      Raised the awareness of the nomads in  Darfur about Peace building, tolerance and human rights.

*      Held training in Peace Building and Gender Issues for more than 250 women, men and youth in Khartoum (Dar Essalam – West of Omdurman).

*      Prepared, produced and broadcast Radio programs to disseminate peace culture.

*      Organized and held sports, cultural and artistic events to establish peace culture.

*      Organized campaigns to advocate peace building, peace culture, human rights and the importance of peace for the overall development of the country.

Environmental Conservation


As mentioned in Al Massar's mission statement, environmental is one of the key facets of sustainable development. Like most developing countries the Sudanese economy depends largely on agriculture.  70% of the economic active population of the country works in agriculture. 90% of them live in rural areas. Nomadic communities have a particularly close relationship with the environment.

Nomads & Environment

Nomadic populations generally utilize pieces of land that are unsuitable for settled agriculture.  Seasonal migration is currently the only means of sustainable agriculture in large areas of Sudan, utilizing areas that are too dry in winter and too muddy and plagued by biting flies in summer, to support other forms of agriculture. However, the uses of these areas by nomads is a continuous balancing act, prone to upset by even small change.  The effect of climatic change and overstocking has recently threatened the future continuation of such trans-human systems[16].


The United Nations Convention to Combat  Desertification (UNCDD) defines "Desertification" as land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub humid areas resulting from various factor, including climatic variation and human activities.

“Desertification is caused almost entirely by human misuse of the environment. This misuse, which is not necessarily the result of ignorance, takes the form of felling trees to provide fuel, over grazing by domestic animals, and harmful agricultural practices" (Kebbed & Jacob, 1988).

Sudan can be divided into 7 ecological zones with rainfall varying from
zero mm in the northern desert to 1300 mm in the high rainfall Savannah (Table 4). The desert and semi desert represent 51.5% out of the total area if we add to that the low rainfall Savannah zone the figure will jump to more than 80% (80.6%). This indicates that the problem of desertification and desert encroachment is a serious problem in the Sudan.





Table: rainfall and ecological zones of the Sudan[17]

Ecological zones


Area (Km)










Low rain fall Savannah on sand




Low rain fall Savannah on clay




High rainfall Savannah




Flood region




Mountain Region





Impact of Desertification

  Drought and desertification have their impacts on soil, bio-diversity, forests and food security. Resulting in:

v  Soil degradation.

v  Wind Erosion.

v   Water Erosion.

v   Flooding.

v  Salinity & Alkalinity.

v  Reduction in Biodiversity.

These factors directly impact on a large proportion of land use of Sudan.

Environmental Objectives

Al Massar has the following objectives regarding the environment :

1)  To identify and understand the current problems affecting the environment.

2)  Prevention and /or reduction of land degradation.

3)  Rehabilitation of partly degraded land.

4)  Reclamation of desertified land.

5)  Foster Sustainable management of land and water resources.

6)  Establishment of environmental early warning systems.

Water and sanitation


Although "Water" could come under the above section on "Environment", the special position of water in the lives of nomads warrants the particular attention in the strategic work plan.

Nomads & Water

Safe drinking water is a basic necessity for good health. Unsafe drinking is known  to  be  a  significant  carrier  of  disease  such  trachoma,  cholera, typhoid,  guinea  and  schistosomiasis.  In addition access to water is particularly important for nomadic women and children, who usually carry the water, often for long distances. In north Sudan 60% of the population have access to improved sources of drinking water (79% in urban areas & 47% in rural areas)[18].


“Only 21% of the population of West Darfur gets its water from an improved water source, the lowest percentage in Sudan" (MICS, 2000).


Water & Peace

There is also a strong correlation between water availability and resource conflict. During periods of drought and water scarcity there is a noticeable increase in conflict resulting from competition over access to remaining water resources[19]:


Water Objectives

Al Massar has the following objectives regarding water:

1)  To identify and understand the current water problems affecting nomadic communities.

2)  Sustainable management of water resources.

3)  Improvement of the provision and quality of water to nomads.

4)  Participation of nomads in the establishment of new water sources.

5)  Water efficiency.

6)  Equitable access to water.

7)  Habitat conservation.

Water Achievement

*      Established 10 water stations (Doankeys) at nomads pathways.

*      Rehabilitation & Maintenance of 10 water tanks to serve nomads community.

*      Network water connection to Um- Alqura in West Darfur State.

*      Fixed and maintained more than 78 manual water pumps.

*      Organized and held vocational training for employees of Water Cooperation.

*      Trained the nomad’s youth to manage and maintain the water pumps.

*      Organized awareness campaigns to manage and use water properly.

*      Trained 250 persons in water management and establish the concept of “Water for Peace” in Eastern Darfur State.

*    Organized and held workshops to raise the standard of environmental awareness and conservation accompanied by practical application.


*      Stimulate and enlighten the nomads about their developmental, political, economic and social rights, and the importance of joining the existing official and popular institutions . In this context, AlMassar  helped in registering and facilitating the statistics process.

*      A thorough registration of nomads has been carried out for the first time, whilst previously demographic projections and tax herds were the reference for nomads census .

*      Inclusion of nomads among the target sectors in the strategy of primary health for the federal Ministry of Health.

*      The initiatives and information provided by AlMassar have produced a direct impact leading to the establishment of the “Council for the Nomads Growth and Development” .

*      AlMassar upheld the voice of nomads and acknowledged them as an important sector locally and internationally through participating in international forums and conferences in Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Geneva and Paris, just to name a few.

*      Raised the nomads awareness regarding building peace culture, conflicts resolution and human rights .

*      Organized enlightenment campaigns for the importance of peace, human rights and advocacy.

*      Produced and broadcast radio programs for building peace culture and conflicts resolution in Darfur States.

*      Formed joint peace committees between Gadarif and Ethiopia for nomads problems.

*      Submitted a constitutional challenge against the President of the Republic decree regarding the release of “Elfeel forest confiscation”, since it’s a nature reserve.

*      Raised the nomads awareness on personal official documents.

*      Built a training hall for family & child in west Darfur.

*      The Child Rights Prize for the best initiative in the field of child rights.

*      Awareness speeches about bad habits on the day of the African child.

*      Initiative for conflict awareness at Gabel Aamir and evaluating the humanitarian conditions of those affected.

*      Organized prayer and supplication campaigns to advocate “Peace for Children”. 

*      Al-Massar participated in the registration & elections process through:

*      Raising the awareness.

*      contributing to the observation process by training the election observers.

*      Carter Centre supported Al-Massar for training 30 trainers in Khartoum to train 600 local observers in 21 locations in the five Darfur States. 

*      Al-Massar participated in the November 2010 Southern Sudan Referendum by deploying 149 observers to observe the whole process starting with registration going through polling ending up with counting and tabulation processes.


Reascheses  and  Surveys

*    Orphan Census Survey in West Darfur.

*    Population & Assets Censuses in North and East Darfur.

*    Nomadic Baseline Survey in Darfur States.

*    Health Survey in Five Darfur States.

*    Nomadic Baseline Survey in East Sudan.

*    Counting up the war-affected nomads.

*    Water Survey in East Darfur.


Baseline Survey, Gedarif

Almassar charity organization had conducted a baseline survey on education in al Gedarif state in 2006.

Elbotana educational survey 

Elmassar interpretation with the department of nomad’s education in ministry of education Gedaref state makes survey on education in Elbotana section in 2014 the duration of the survey is four month.

White Nile state primary school survey

Almassar had lead joint assessment in collaboration with federal manager of Nomads education and state manager of Nomads education in the White Nile state the survey cover fifteen primary school at the west area of state during 28-29/11/2014.

Standing wealth: Pastoralist livestock production and local livelihoods in Sudan Study

This study was held in 2013 by Almassar charity organization in collaboration with Tufts university- Feinstein international center, UNEP, SOS Sahel Sudan, the ministry of animal resources and fisheries, and Nomads’ development council. This study was carried out in Khartoum, West Darfur, North Kordofan and Gedarif states.

Taking root: the cash crop trade in Darfur study

This study was conducted in the five states of Darfur in 2013, by Almassar charity organization with Tufts university – Feinstein international center, UNEP, Ministry of Agriculture in West and South Darfur and DRA ( Darfur Development and reconstruction agency).

Pastoralism in Practice: Monitoring livestock mobility in contemporary Sudan Study

This study carried out in 2013 by Almassar charity organization in partnership with tufts university – Feinstein international center, UNEP, Ministry of animal resources and fisheries, SOS Sahel Sudan, nomad’s development council. The selected areas for this study were, North Kordofan and East Darfur, and it takes about 5 months.

Emergency Response and Humanitarians interventions


 In early 2003, fighting broke out in the western region of Darfur. Rebel groups were seeking greater autonomy and began an insurrection. Three years of bitter conflict between rebels and government of Sudan in Darfur region have led to some two million people fleeing from their homes (BBC, Country profile 2006).

The ongoing humanitarian emergency in the Darfur Region of Sudan has continued to worsen and now affects more than 4.7 million people. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) estimates that approximately 4.7 million are affected by the crisis; including more than 1.9 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) who desperately need aid[20], while at the same time a growing number of returnees require assistance.

Outbreak of fighting at South Kordofan state led to large-scale displacement and also severely affected local populations in this area.

Humanitarian actors continue to focus on gaining access, identifying additional capacity, and filling the critical humanitarian gaps left in Darfur and South Kordofan despite rising insecurity and continuing challenges in the operating environment.

Strategic priories

The strategic plan s had endorsed the following three strategic priorities :

1-     Contribute to timely and effective humanitarian response throughout Sudan.

2-     Promote and facilitate durable solutions, empowering people and communities by reducing aid dependence.

3-     Build capacity of local community based societies to address humanitarian needs.

Sectors Objectives 

1-     Health

I-                   Increase access and strengthen quality of primary and referral healthcare services for IDPs, returnees, refugees and communities affected by conflict and natural disasters

II-                 Improve emergency preparedness, risk reduction, disease surveillance, prevention and control of epidemic prone and communicable diseases and public health threats

III-             Procure and pre-position core pipeline for drugs, kits, reagents and medical supplies to ensure emergency response capacity in the sector.

2- Education

Providing access to pre and basic education for vulnerable children in communities that are affected by conflict, displacement, and natural disaster, meeting at least minimum standards for Education in Emergencies

3- Food security and livelihood

        I.                        Meet the immediate food security (not food) and livelihoods needs of newly displaced persons and flood-affected households

      II.                        Support return and reintegration of IDPs in Darfur in support of durable solutions as well as in parts of the South Kordofan

   III.                        Assistance to nomads and pastoralists affected by the blockage of migratory routes and weather vagaries

  IV.    Strengthen sector coordination and the capacity of Government line Ministries and national NGOs in order to prepare them for effective and timely response to future food security and livelihoods emergencies.


4- Water and sanitation

        I.            Sustain and expand access to WASH services  for vulnerable populations affected by conflict or natural disaster in Sudan, ensuring mitigation of environmental impact

      II.            Strengthen disaster preparedness in Sudan by building the capacity of communities, government and partners to anticipate and respond to critical WASH needs interventions in areas of high risk

5- Protection

        I.                        Improved identification and assessment of protection needs to underpin response, especially for those at risk (i.e. women, children, elderly, disabled), including access to basic services, citizenship rights, alternative livelihood strategies and focus on prevention and mitigation of human rights violations occurring

      II.                        Greater coordination of protection responses, leveraging information management and analysis, including protection, monitoring, evaluation, response/referral systems, early warning mechanisms, to improve prevention strategies, mitigation of risks and protection response

   III.                        Strengthen capacity for response by governmental, non-governmental, and civil society actors responsible for the protection of IDPs, returnees, South Sudanese and those at-risk and with special needs, through awareness raising and capacity-building.  Activity should be about awareness raising and capacity building.

    IV.                        Raise community awareness and resilience with respect to protection concerns for those at risk of displacement, IDPs, South Sudanese, as well as those prioritized for durable solutions

      V.                        Contribute further to enhancing the national legal framework for IDPs and those victims of conflict-related abuse and support response/referral systems that comply with international standards

6- Emergency / transitional Shelters:

Conflict affected populations have improved access to shelters and basic household items

Implementation strategies and methodologies

The Strategic Work Plan outlined above calls for an ambitious set of works during the next five year period. To ensure full implementation of the Work Plan the following systems and strategies have been adopted:

v  Community Participation.

v  Capacity Building.

v  Partnership.

v  Transparency and monitoring.

Community Participation

The involvement of local people is seen as fundamental to the success or failure of this work plan. Although the theory of the bottom-up approach is  well established in development planning, many projects continue to apply  such ideas only in a superficial manner. The key to successful Community  Participation appears to be through communication. Evidence suggests  that many development projects fail because of diverging ideas between  the implementer and the stakeholders.  Effective communication and  dialogue is an obvious means of building consensus between the different  parties. To  ensure  a  free  exchange  of  ideas  and  issues,  clear  channels  of  communications are usually required. One of the most effective ways to  achieve   this   is   through   Local   Committees.   Such   bodies   when democratically accountable provide the corner stone for successful and responsive development. Al Massar intends to make the establishment of such community committees a prerequisite of its development planning. Crucial elements of such bodies are:

Ø  Democratic and representative of the larger community.

Ø  Transparent in decision making and organization.

Ø  Project ownership, from initial idea to completion and beyond.

Ø   Proactive and responsive.

Ø  Capacity Building.

One of the main weakness of community committees is poor capacity and weak  skills  bases  to  effectively  participate  in  development  projects. Therefore,  Al  Massar  proposes  to  assist  in  the  development  of  local committees through  capacity building and training.


Capacity Building

Capacity-building encompasses the human, scientific, technological, organizational, and institutional and resource capabilities needed to fulfill a mission or achieve a goal. In the case of this Work Plan a number of current capacity weakness need improvement:

1)  Human Capabilities:  As an organization Al Massar needs to dramatically increase the skills bases of its personnel, especially regarding:

v  Development Planning and the Project Cycle.

v  Human Resource management.

v  Accounting and office management.

v  Training and skills transfer.

2)  Community Capabilities: As mentioned above the weak capacity of locally based committees and organizations diminish their ability to play an appropriate role in development. To rectify this situation Al Massar proposes to improve the capabilities of local nomadic communities to participate in development:

v  Consensus building.

v  Committee formation, organization and operating training.

v  Democratic and transparent decision.

v  Negotiation and communication skills development.

v  Project management and monitoring.


3)  Technological Capabilities: New and exist technologies can play an important role in the implementation of the Strategic Work Plan (2013-17). To make uses of such resources appropriate skills must be developed and maintained. Additional, the effective use of new technology must be demonstrated.

4)   Institutional Capabilities:  As an organization Al Massar must significantly expanded its current infrastructure over the next five years if the targets laid down in the strategic work plan are to be meet.   One of the key areas of growth is in the geographical spread of the organization. This calls for the establishment new offices and expansion of existing ones. Outlined in Figure 1are the proposed developments to the structure of the organization:

Partners & Organizations cooperated with AlMassar

*           UNICEF.

*           Food & Agricultural Organization (FAO).

*           World Food Program (WFP).

*           United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

*           OXFAM (British & Dutch).

*           The Red Cross.

*           International Support Services Organization

*           World Relief Agency.

*           United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

*           International Relief Organization.

*           Carter  Center.

*           Albany Technical Support.

*           Nile Basin Initiative (NBI).

*           Zayed Charitable & Humanitarian Foundation.

*           The diplomatic missions in Khartoum: the Dutch, Japanese, Canadian & American Embassies .

*           Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC).

*           Council of National Organizations.

*           Education for All Network.

*           Darfur Organizations Network.

*           Fight Poverty Network.

*           National Network for Human Rights.

*           The Woman Network.

*           The Network for fighting Bad Habits.

*           Network Against Female Genital Mutilation (NAFGEM).

*           Nomads Development Council (NDC).

*           Concern

*           Plan Sudan

*           Tufts University

*           International AID Services(IAS)

*           North Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (NSDDR).

*           In the context of cooperation with academic institutions, AlMassar was supported by Al-Ahfad, Bayan College, Africa College (Sudan) and Allenberg University (USA).


the international participations:-

*           Participation in the water and the earth in Jordan.

*            Participation in the workshop of food security in Tunisia.

*           Participate in the summit of IGAD – Ethiopia.

*            Participation in the Pastoral Network Configuration – Jordan.

*           Participate in the summit of IGAD – Kampala.

*           Partnerships Conference – Nairobi.

*           Discussion about issues nomadic – Washington

*           Participation in the workshop on Education for All - Morocco

*           Porsche grassroots participation information and enlightenment pastoral and investment policy of the African Union - Kenya

*            Workshop sponsors of the World Federation - Kenya

*           Training Workshop for Special Needs - Tanzania

*           Nile Basin Initiative Water - Ethiopia




[1] Fifth census of Sudan  2008

[2] El Tayeb, G. (1999) "Human Development in Sudan, from the perspective of Agenda 21 (Rio 1992)" UNICEF

[3]Office of the United Nations Secretary-General. Education First: An Initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General (2012), Pg. 9

[4]According to the Status of the Education Sector in Sudan and the World Bank African Development Series (2012), 1 million children never enrolled in school. The out-of-school figure varies from 1.8 million to 3.2 million

[5] Educational Statistics 2009-2010, General Directorate of Educational Planning, Ministry of General Education

[6] Sudan Census and UNICEF Report 2011

[7]C.B.S 2008 Census.

[8] Ministry of Education data in 2010/11

[9] Sudan  House Hold Survey 2010

[10] El Tayeb, G. (1999) "Human Development in Sudan, from the perspective of Agenda 21 (Rio 1992)" UNICEF.

[11] C. Schwabe (1998) "The interface between human & animal health in West Africa: Towards the One Medicine", Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF)

[12] El Tayeb, G. (1999) "Human Development in Sudan, from the perspective of Agenda 21 (Rio 1992)" UNICEF.

[13] www.undp/sudan

[14] DeWaalA(1989)” Famine that kills Darfur” Oxford University Press.

[15] Sulieman M (1997)” interventions of ethnicity from perceptions to causes of violent conflicts”, Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA).

[16] Wallach, B. (1989) "Improving Traditional Grassland Agriculture in Sudan" Geographical Review

[17] M.N Harrson and T.K.Jackson,1958,Ecological classification of vegetation of the Sudan

[18] CBS (2000) "Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)" Central Bureau of Statistics, Federal Ministry of Health & UNICEF.

[19] ECOMAN (2000) "Conflict in Horn of Africa", Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA)

[20] Darfur Humanitarian Profile  No. 34, January 2009