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In Sudan, Kamal Tadros

Together with Sister Emmanuelle and Michel Bittar, the President of ASASE, Kamal Tadros was a founder of the action undertaken in Sudan. From the beginning in 1985 until 2011, he has been the National Secretary of the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Society in Khartoum that is implementing all the programs supported by ASASE in Sudan.

Deacon of the Catholic Church in Sudan, Kamal Tadros received two medals of Pope Paul VI.

In 2010, he was elected "Man of the Year" by the "Foreign Aid" department of Caritas Austria: "an impressive personality for his tireless efforts on behalf of children and displaced persons in Sudan. "

Kamal was born in Sudan, Atbara, in 1935 in a South-Egyptian family. His father was an agent of an English company importing Arabic gum. The eldest of ten children, the young Kamal had to leave school at 13 to help his father support the family. He worked for about 30 years as chief accountant for Shell. Thanks to his dedication, all his brothers and sisters were able to continue their education, and some of them became doctors or famous surgeons. During this time at Shell, he received several job offers that would have allowed him to settle in different countries but he turned all of them down to stay in Sudan.
In the Seventies, he joined the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Society (SVDP), and very soon became its National Secretary.

In 1978 he left the Shell Company to launch, with his brother-in-law, a business importing spare parts for vehicles. Very soon this business became prosperous.

In 1979, he was ordained deacon of the Catholic Church in Khartoum.

In 1985 he met Sister Emmanuelle during her stay in Sudan. She asked him to leave his job to care for the street children. The following day, he decided to agree to take this leap.

Thus, in 1986, was officially opened the first home for orphaned boys Kamal had literally fetched from the streets.

The same year he was appointed Headmaster of the Archbishop's schools located in the IDP camps.
Thanks to his efforts, and the significant support of the Sister Emmanuelle Associations in Europe and various religious institutions, the number of children benefiting from this program increased ten-fold within 15 years, reaching 70 000 in early 2000. Teachers were trained during summer sessions, and the academic achievements of the children living in the camps turned out to be excellent. Unfortunately, Kamal and SVDP had to endure all sorts of harassment and pressure from the Islamic government. One year, 17 schools were destroyed for various reasons. But, refusing to give up, Kamal and his team rebuilt the schools elsewhere.

In 1993, Kamal was also appointed Director of the committee in charge of organizing the program for the visit of Pope John Paul II to Khartoum. The authorities worked hard to make this event a failure, but the organization turned out to be a big success.

In 1994, Kamal was jailed for two weeks under very hard conditions. After Sister Emmanuelle's personal intervention with the President of the country, order was eventually given to release him and to stop all threats and abuses.

In 2002, Kamal decided to resign from his post as Education Headmaster for the Archdiocese in order to devote himself entirely to the programs of SVDP.

In summer 2011, after having long prepared his departure, Kamal resigned from his position as National Secretary of SVDP. For personal reasons, he and his wife decided to join their daughter and their four grandchildren in Australia.

Here are some excerpts from the statement that was issued on the occasion, and signed by John Ugo Gambolon and Betram Gordon, the tandem succeeding Kamal as head of SVDP:
"Reverend Kamal, being one of Sudan's most respected figures, prepared himself for this possibility since many years, more than ten in fact. His fairness and humility, unusual even for a religious man, urged him to prepare his succession much before it was necessary, as he never was certain of what the future held for him.

(…) Gordon and I are resolved to stress the positive aspects of our long collaborations with Rev. Kamal which include among other things his example of a life filled with total honesty, love, straightforwardness, dedication and commitment, and we assure our donors and friends that, with Kamal at still at the helm in our minds and hearts, nothing will make us shake.

(…) In SVDP, Reverend Kamal lived each moment of his life by loving and caring for the poor and respecting all the people he got in touch with. We fervently wish to honor him and we know it's not a time to pause, but a time to reflect on the legacy he is leaving us, and a time to act and carry it as further on as possible. GOD BLESS KAMAL AND SVDP."

In December 2012, Kamal Tadros returned to Khartoum for personal reasons.
At first, he offered his services informally to assist SVDP management in Khartoum. Then, in September 2013, he has been re-elected National Secretary.

In 2015, he decided to join for good his daughter and grandchildren in Australia.


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