Ghada Saleh

Ghada: The Woman Who Fearlessly Stands Up for People Worldwide

Ghada is a well-known Sudanese woman who grew up with a father who was working on the railways. She saw how he was developing in himself until he was an engineer, with his biases and will. He was one of the people who brought her to the person she is today: someone who works for youth potential and preparing them for work-life, self-evolvement, growth, and exploration of their maximum potential. She also wants to work towards technological development, development in ideas, creativity, and innovation. She wanted to do everything she could to make these things happen. Since her motto in life is giving as it gives her a feeling of happiness, she began taking on the steps of her role models, Mother Teresa and Princess Diana, and working towards a better tomorrow.

Personal Life

Ghada is a humanitarian who grew up in Al-Hushaisa and spent most of her teenage years in Saudi Arabia. In 1982, she returned to Sudan, where she continued studying but, in 1989, she got married and stopped studying when she was only in middle school. However, she was determined, and after a year, she began again and studied for around four years. After this, she took an exam for university and had her first child around the time. She joined the university of Ahfads College and majored in Business Administration, where her first job was as an administrator. Still, she soon traveled to the Netherlands in 1998 and completed her studies there in international business management. She majored in development and international aid and was part of the first batch at the university. She chose this field because she loved giving insight and learned that it was her passion.

Her work in Sudan

When she was in the Netherlands, Ghada did not encounter discrimination based on gender, but this wasn’t the case in Sudan. She then got to work. She was the first person to start working on the My Body is My Body campaign to protect children in several cities in Sudan. They worked to raise awareness of the adverse

effects of child abuse, regardless of the type of violence, physical, verbal, or sexual, and the psychological impact of raising children’s awareness. They also aimed to educate parents and help them understand that they are a safe place for children to trust to tell them if anything bad is happening. They also teach parents how they can spot an abused child and the safest way to deal with harmed children. The My Body is My Body for Children campaign included events, music, games, and activities for children and provided a platform where they could tell them about the violations that occurred to them, whether physical or sexual violence and that they were afraid to talk to their families.

The establishment of the Sawa organization is notable. For a long time, Ghada worked without an organization in various projects, so her Moroccan friend suggested collaborating and joining forces by establishing an organization. She called it “Sawa.” It is newly established and local and international, but it targets Sudan, Morocco, and the rest of the impoverished countries more.

Ghada also personally visited the camps for the displaced, including the Rakoba camp and the camps on the border between Kassala and Ethiopia.

Her achievements

When Ghada was the head of the Sudanese community in 2011, she was offered to present a performance in the Dutch theater during the annual festival as she did several community activities. It was the first show in which she reviewed the Sudanese culture, including traditional dresses and foods, and the show won the audience’s admiration. It is held every year, and every year she chooses a different theme that displays the culture of Sudan. Each time she was inspired by a different region and introduced them to things like Sudanese jazz. Later, the Dutch theater decided to call me the ambassador of culture, an honor from the municipality.

Ghada also shared a story with a museum that contains influential Dutch personalities over the past two centuries. They love to uphold the tradition that they add inspiring people to the museum and publish their stories. She told the story of the struggle and difficulties she went through. She said that she is a mother of children, a wife, a student, and a woman working simultaneously but never gave up.

She has won several prizes, including the power award on international women’s day, and based on her many societal contributions, she was nominated out of 60 people and was the only Sudanese honored with the golden stone, which is a stone engraved with her name and plated with gold which is displayed in one of the streets of Delft. She credits her achievements to collective hard work, high quality, dedication, ongoing creativity, new ideas, and love that she pours into every single project.

Challenges during her work

There were a few exceptionally challenging aspects. She faced a rejection resulting from a misunderstanding from the people that she wanted to provide extraneous needs or change their habits and culture. It took work, but in the end, it was accepted and admired. She says that he challenges as any work lies in dealing with the work team regarding commitment to time, the performance of tasks, and quality of work. But what caused her to keep trying even during the struggle? She knew that she needed persistence and determination to get what she wants along with her strong belief about being guided by God. She told her soul to keep going, so she did.

The solutions she poses

Ghada is a great person to go to for solutions. She thinks that to increase protection for children, there is a need for the integrated work of governmental institutions, civil society organizations, judicial organizations, organizations concerned with issues, and community members, designing a system with one goal and unifying programs and curriculum. As for her thoughts on fighting gender-based violence, she says that the first and most important thing is social awareness. No one can make any real change unless the community is at their side and they understand that there has been violence and its problems, and it has caused negative effects on individuals and the community. The solution exists with the participation of the community itself, then the enactment of laws and the continuity of their implementation.

Future work

Ghada aims to keep working for what is right. In the future, she wants to work in child care. This includes an FGM prevention program, child labor, child marriage,

and the child protection law 2010. She also wants to establish an organization for this in Sudan.

Ghada is a wonderful woman who is always ready to take on a challenge. When it comes to doing what’s right, she never steps back and does everything in her power to reach her goal regardless of the challenges. Because of her determination, she has achieved so much, and her huge and beautiful heart is always ready to do more.

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