Double Half-Marathon Fundraiser for Sudan

by Mae MacDonald in Nairobi, , Kenya

Double Half-Marathon Fundraiser for Sudan

Total raised £1,295

raised so far



I'm running 2 half marathons and climbing Mt Kenya in support of organizations providing critical support to civilians in Sudan. SEE BELOW!

by Mae MacDonald in Nairobi, , Kenya

 New stretch target

I'm running two half marathons and climbing Mount Kenya in support of two organizations providing critical support to civilians affected by the war in Sudan: a grassroots network of Sudanese people in Khartoum and Islamic Relief. It was also my birthday on Tuesday this week. As either support for the half marathons or a birthday gift, please consider contributing whatever you can to get aid to the people of Sudan. 

The war

In April 2023, war broke out in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. This war is between the Sudanese Armed Forces, led by General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (the de facto leader), and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), headed by Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemedti”. These two groups had previously worked together to oust long-time authoritarian and genocidal leader Omar al-Bashir in 2019. However, in the aftermath of a military coup in 2021 (which dissolved the transitional civilian government), tensions increased between the two groups as they vied for power. There was pressure to restore the government in early 2023, which lead to difficulties surrounding how Hemedti would integrate the RSF into the military command. There was an agreement, brokered by the USA and Saudi Arabia, which would have given the RSF ten years to dissolve and to join the army. However, high-ranking military officers strongly opposed the deal. Then, fighting broke out in Khartoum. This quickly spread to other parts of Sudan, particularly Darfur (which previously faced twenty years of genocide) and Kordofan. In December 2023, the war intensified, spreading to the east of Sudan. East African nations, led by Kenya and Djibouti, are pushing for direct talks, but a meeting scheduled for Dec 28th was postponed.

As the fighting continues, innocent civilians are the biggest victims. This war has compounded already record levels of humanitarian need from decades of political unrest, rising inflation, and extreme weather events caused by climate change. Since the beginning of the conflict, 13,000 people have been killed and almost 8 million displaced. The World Food Programme is warning of a “hunger catastrophe” with estimates of 18 million people facing acute hunger. In the absence of a functioning government, "people are living in a dystopian nightmare where there is no law and order”. There are reports of rape, homes burned, and genocide of the Masalit community. There is a “chronic lack of funding” and, when aid does reach the country, clashes and looting have prevented large agencies from delivering assistance. 

Organizations on-the-ground

I am raising funds for two organizations that are working to help the people of Sudan. I will split all proceeds equally between these two groups. 

  • A grassroots network of young Sudanese people in Khartoum that are directly providing aid to the most vulnerable. A close friend of mine, from Sudan and now living here in Nairobi, told me about this group. The network receives messages from people that need assistance most and then sends money directly to them. This is led by the community, avoids the issues of large agencies facing difficulties with access, and does not take a cut of the donation for overhead costs. 
  • Islamic Relief, an organization that has worked in the country for more than 40 years. Since the crisis has begun, they have delivered vital humanitarian assistance to more than 310,000 people, including food, cash, temporary shelter, and healthcare. You can read their Emergency Appeal here.

The exercise

For those interested, I’ll be running an informal half-marathon in Nairobi, Kenya, this weekend, and the Pauanui Half Marathon in New Zealand in March. 

Thank you so much in advance for your support.

More information

You can find out more about the history of the conflict and its consequences below: 

  • “Where does the conflict in Sudan stand after eight months?” Al Jazeera, 20 Dec 2023.
  • CrisisWatch compilation of coverage of the war in Sudan, including this overview article, 9 Jan 2024.
  • “War in Sudan: Who Is Battling for Power, and Why It Hasn’t Stopped,” New York Times, 19 Dec 2023.
  • “The world is ignoring war, genocide and famine in Sudan,” The Economist, 16 Nov 2023. (If you don’t have access to The Economist and want to read this, I can send a PDF version).
  • Read about the refugee movements here on UNCHR’s website and see videos of woefully underfunded camps in Chad.

Written in Jan 2024. Please let me know if you think something is incorrect. Any errors are my own.

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