Gezira authorities expel girls from shelter, transfer building to government employee

A government secretariat in Gezira state, central Sudan, expropriated a girls’ shelter and handed it over to a government employee.
AlTaghyeer: Abdullah Brer
Volunteers at a girls’ shelter were surprised by the government authorities’ seizing of the building without any clarification from the authorities.
The organization’s officials revealed to AlTaghyeer that they were stalled by the Ministry of Social Affairs in Gezira state until the house was dismantled.
The volunteers cautioned that the ministry asked them for impossible conditions to maintain and equip the house despite the home’s preparation being the responsibility of the ministry.
Runaway girls in Wad Madani are prone to sexual abuse, physical and verbal violence, in addition to the possibility of disease due to weather conditions and deprivation of education and integration into society.
The girls’ shelter organization had earlier addressed the Ministry to prepare a home for girls aged between five and twelve years.
Last week, some members of a volunteer organization went to the girls’ home to deliver food supplies, but were surprised by the girls’ expulsion from the shelter by the supervisor of the Ministry of Social Welfare.
According to the founder of the Shelter for Girls, Mawaheb Hassan, the supervisor threatened the girls and told them: “If you do not leave the house, I will charge you with theft,” which led to the girls fleeing to Wad Madani’s Nile Street in order to sleep there.
Mawaheb also told AlTaghyeer that “[we] went to the ministry, which stipulated some maintenance, and indeed we did the necessary water and electricity connections, and provided beds, fans, air conditioners, and television, but we were surprised by another condition, which was to obtain legal approval.”
Mawaheb revealed that she, a lawyer, addressed the Family and Child Department of Gezira and her attorney, to no response.
For her part, the Director of the Department of Social Welfare in the Gezira state, Hanan Youssef, repudiated the expulsion of the girls from the home.
Hanan told AlTaghyeer: “I do not know who is the exact person responsible for the expulsion of these girls. We received supreme instructions from individuals who said that they were ordered to inform us of the necessity of handing over the house.”
“I do not have any information, and this matter concerns the state’s governor and the Minister of Social Affairs, and we in the administration, our role is limited to coordinating with organizations and benefactors.”
Speaking to AlTaghyeer, the director of the office of the Minister of Social Affairs noted that the house was originally affiliated with the secretariat of the Gezira state government.
“We had no choice but to accept the matter and take the girls out of the house and hand them over to the government secretariat.”
AlTaghyeer could not to obtain a response from the secretariat of the Gezira state government.
Our attempts to ask questions to the office of the designated governor of Gezira state, Ismail Awad Allah al-Aqib, failed, were also met with no response.

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