OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Featured Eyewitness: Zeinab Blandia

Photo of OpenIDEO

Written by

To inform our community collaboration on the Atrocity Prevention Challenge, we're keen to share first-hand perspectives from those who have experience in contexts of mass violence. A Muslim peacemaker from Sudan, Zeinab Mohamed Blandia, has been described as a point person for creating community and maintaining peace in the Nuba Mountains, one of the most conflict-affected and neglected regions of the world. She was displaced from her home in the 80s as a result of Sundanese unrest.
Can you tell us how it felt to be powerless while you witnessed such mass atrocity?
The war broke out in Kadugli town between Sudan Government Military and the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Movement on June 6, 2011 at 6 pm. Shooting and bombing was everywhere in the town – people were rushing out from their homes in the dark night, children were crying and running without their mothers, women were carrying bags and puling small kids to flee the atrocity. Outside the situation was so dangerous. "Oh my God. How can I flee with my elderly aunt, 80 year old mom and four kids?" I asked myself. We hid under the beds until early morning, then we escaped, carrying the the elderly in wheelbarrows. I felt powerless while I witnessed the arresting, torture and killing of men, based on ethnic identification. Women were beaten and their personal belongings taken.
How was your communication with the outside world limited?
Communication with outside was so difficult and risky. After ten days I communicated with a human rights defender organisation through email to inform them about the situation and the risk we were facing.
How have these experiences inspired your current work?
The period I went through during this atrocity inspired me to worked hard to help others. I became active in the Nuba women's movement. I did not know exactly how I'd be able to participate in alleviating what was and continues to be overwhelming human suffering. I just knew I needed to act. One of the very first campaigns I helped create was to organise women to form solidarity groups using a unique approach which helped women to speak out about the atrocity. I thought advocacy would be a good way to connect people with the issue, while at the same time fundraising for direct assistance for survivors. I had no idea how deep of an experience it was going to be for me and for the many people that participated. I connected with many NGOs in the Sudanese daiospra which encouraged me to organise a week of advocacy work to stop atrocity in the Nuba Mountain region, held in Nairobi in March 2012. The activities included a photography exhibition, press conference, hunger strike and rally. I continue to work to support women's rights.
Do you have any words of encouragement for people joining our Atrocity Prevention Challenge?
Your efforts are important are vital. I hope the OpenIDEO community can collaborate to end atrocity in contexts such as the conflicted areas in Sudan and beyond. Please be especially mindful of the plight of women and children.
3.6k 13
Atrocity Prevention Challenge


Join the conversation:

Photo of yosung Dokgo

가장 확실한 먹튀검증 커뮤니티 Your post really helped me a lot. 먹튀검증 As an opportunity to 먹튀신고 read one article, 먹튀 I'm reading all your other posts. 먹튀검증업체 I found out 먹튀커뮤니티 that you are a person 먹튀사이트검증 with a lot of abilities. 먹튀사이트 Your website is 메이저놀이터 full of really needed content. 메이저안전놀이터추천 I envy you. 메이저놀이터추천 I also run one of my websites. 메이저놀이터 It's a little different from you, 사설토토 but many posts are registered on 메이저사설토토 my site, 사설토토사이트추천 and I'm still writing them. 사설토토사이트 The posts are being updated 사설놀이터 almost every week, 안전놀이터 so if you're interested, 토토안전놀이터 visit them and read them. 안전놀이터 I'm sure it'll help you, too. 토토사이트 There are many problems happening all over the world these days, 토토추천 and I hope you don't have any problems, 메이저토토사이트 and I hope you have a great day today. 먹튀없는토토사이트 Thank you again for letting me read this, 토토사이트추천 and I'll see you next time. 토토사이트 Good bye

View all comments