Al Foolah is a remote area of Sudan, rich in oil. Like much of Sudan, development has been stifled by the 21-year civil war, and the local inhabitants live in poverty.
In 2007 an oil company began drilling in Al Foolah. To compensate the local population, they built a hospital – to serve the 3 million people in the area. Yet it was built without consulting the people who would use it.
The building was too far out of town for the people to access, and as no staff or equipment were provided, there were no doctors or nurses to administer the health care the people so desperately needed. Today the hospital is used to shelter animals.
Last year the Collaborative for Peace set up a peace committee in Al Foolah. Through their local links, they have worked with the local community to identify their needs and discover what would really help them. In addition the Collaborative is building relationships with the oil company. They have already met with a representative from the company and plan to do so again in coming months. It is a slow process, but it shows that the oil company is learning to listen to local voices and is keen to put their support where it can have the most impact.