Nile Swimmers are pleased to announce that with the ongoing growth of our organisation and programmes in Sudan, we have recently appointed a Country Director. We let Hind Elseed explain what she brings to the team and the challenges she is looking forward to taking on with us:
I am a certified project manager and civil engineer with over fifteen years experience in projects and programme management; both in Sudan and the UK. I also have an MSc in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Southampton.
Although my major work has always been engineering related, having lived in Sudan and travelled to other developing countries, I became aware of poor and displaced communities where essential infrastructural facilities and services are lacking, fallen into disuse or in need of repair; leaving communities in crisis, suffering, and in dire need for such basic facilities and services. My aspirations have since been to contribute to sustainable development, improve the well-being of deprived and displaced communities around the world, and provide disadvantaged groups with good quality sustainable facilities and services. This overriding principle encouraged me to pursue postgraduate studies in issues which underpin development in third world countries, with the aim to join the development sector at some point and become a professional in international development.
My genuine belief has always been that the specific knowledge for planning appropriate technologies and the socio-economic aspects which I gained from the MSc course, merged with the professional skills I achieved and continue to acquire through practicing my engineering and project management profession, will enable me to promote a better quality of life to poor communities; thus, helping to provide affordable, good-quality basic infrastructural facilities and sustainable services for those who need them most.
Living in the United Kingdom for ten years after attaining my MSc qualification hindered my opportunities to work in the development field. However, having moved to Sudan a few years ago, my aim has since been to join development professionals and become a member of an organization contributing to sustainable development.
Continuously hearing stories and reading statistics about the number of children and even adults who drown in Sudan while swimming or when collecting water from the river for their basic needs has always been a concern and worry to me, as to why these numbers keep increasing despite their well-known recurrence. I always wondered why can’t they be avoided and what awareness procedures, simple interventions, and practical sustainable measures can be implemented to save such lives and spare their families unneeded tragedies and sorrow.
I suppose most of the children drown in the river Nile because they think ‘’it’’ happens to others but ‘’it’’ will not happen to us! Perhaps they are quite right to think so, because they only want to play, swim, have fun or collect water to help their mums – and they surely have the right to do so – safely – until the dark moment strikes!!
Furthermore, I can never forget the shocking personal experience of watching my own then four-year old son floating face down in water in front of my eyes, when splashing in the shallow end of a swimming pool at a local club as I got distracted from him by watching another incident. When pulled out of the pool, he was totally unresponsive and not breathing. Many thanks to God, he was saved and rescued by my doctor sister who happened to be with me at the time. She performed ventilation followed by CPR on him until he fully recovered.
I am quite sure many other mums in similar situations were not as lucky, and unfortunately a doctor or a qualified rescuer is not always around.
There couldn’t be more motivation for me to join Nile Swimmers in its worthy mission; as I truly believe in the need for educational awareness programs and delivery of basic rescue techniques and procedures to children and adults who want to enjoy the river Nile in our beloved country. I have already started working with determination and enthusiasm and lots of ideas in mind to share for further developing the organization. My hope is to improve the well-being of insecure communities, add more smiles to faces and prevent further agonies resulting from the loss of beloved ones. I look forward to prosperous prospects, more opportunities to venture, and a fruitful future with Nile Swimmers.