Siham Daoud (born 1961) is an activist in community development and peace building. In 1994 she initiated a project in Omdurman Town called "Zagalona Women’s Sewing and Tie-Dye". The project supports displaced Nubian women, women from other tribes, and their families in the Zagalona area. Thanks to Siham’s efforts, 180 women have now completed their training and are able to subsist their families. The illiteracy fighting classes that Siham runs have helped many women in the Sudan to read and write. Siham actively participated in the Nuba Mountains’ Women for Peace (NMWP) in 1998.
In 1987 Siham took the initiative of assisting the displaced women in the Sudan. She established a training center that generates women’s labor skills in many work areas. She began the work from her own house, which put a lot of pressure on her family. Her children at that time were still young and her husband was tied to a job outside the capital Khartoum. So, she had to arrange with a friend or family member to baby-sit the children every time she needed to go to work. Over the years Siham faced severe financial difficulties. In order to keep the project running she sometimes had to pay outstanding balances from her own pocket or from the donations that came from volunteers. Despite these burdens – family and financial constraints – Siham insists on continuing her work and supporting unfortunate women. The project received a big boost in 1994, through the aid of an American donor who visited the Zagalona Women’s Sewing and Tie-Dye group in 1993 and donated ten sewing machines. The machines were shipped from Nairobi, through the Rhama Organization, to the Sudan; it took nine months to clear customs in the airport. The shipment of the machines alerted the Sudanese intelligence department, which was suspicious of Siham’s connections to foreign people. The machines were tracked down and Siham was interrogated about the source of the machines, the project and who she was working with. When the project grew big and Siham’s house became too small to accommodate the center’s activities, she started looking for a suitable place to build a purpose-built center. She spotted a piece of land near her house and launched an appeal to raise funds to buy it. A group of churchwomen from Great Britain promptly responded to the appeal and transfered the required funds. The project now has 38 machines, 16 in the main center and the rest in other places in Khartoum.
Nuba Mountains’ Women for Peace (NMWP)