In one of the outer and poorer suburbs of Khartoum, Sudan lives a Kiwi hero – Barbara Gouldsbury who for the last 15 years has been looking after some of the city’s street-kids. She runs an impressive operation that includes a prep school for the youngest of “her boys”, houses older lads who go off to one of the local secondary schools, runs a soccer academy for older street boys who then spend their afternoons on study, has a Drop-In centre that provides meals and company for those still on the street, and has just constructed a bakery that will provide work for some of the lads and income for the centre.
It’s an exhausting list of achievements and Barbara, who now calls Khartoum home, shows no sign of flagging energy. It must be what’s in that Nile water but she and her support staff of teachers, cooks and cleaners provide a safe and congenial base for these boys who would otherwise be on the street. And her successes are significant – one of her protégés, James is completing his degree in business and accounting, another wee fella has been brought back from near death to be living a full life in Barbara’s family.
We salute the work and dedication of Barbara Gouldsbury – and many thanks for the hospitality and welcome shown us during our visit.