Tuesday, February 20, 2018
South Sudan is the newest country in the world, but it is also a country torn apart by civil war.
Since December 2013 over 2.35 million refugees have fled South Sudan in to neighbouring countries. More than half of these have crossed the border in to Uganda where they are now housed in settlement camps like Kiryandongo, where Feed the Hungry provides meals for over 45,000 children through the schools and churches.
Despite a succession of peace agreements and international resolutions (indeed the peacemakers may sign something this week), fighting in the world’s newest country has now entered its fifth year. It erupted in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir (a Dinka) sacked his deputy, Riek Machar (a Nuer), pitting the country’s two largest ethnic groups against each other in a deadly struggle for supremacy. Since then fighting has taken place across multiple fronts, as rebel groups have mushroomed across the country. The Economist earlier this week reported that nearly a third of the population have fled their homes and over 5m face hunger.
Whilst on a trip to Kenya with Feed the Hungry in 2017, one of our volunteers coined this phrase: “Hope found in messy places”, which describes Feed the Hungry’s outlook in this current situation.
Amongst this devastation Feed the Hungry partners with the Uganda Prime Minister’s office in providing school meals for 12 schools in the Kyriandongo refugee settlement. This ensures that whilst these children have lost everything; including parents and siblings to the fighting in South Sudan, they are encouraged into both primary and secondary education at the settlement through the provision of a daily high nutrition meal.
These children are the hope of tomorrow in building a nation, they not only need to survive but to excel despite everything. Feed the Hungry have made a commitment to continue assisting in protecting their future, despite the pressure of going from feeding 3,000 children in 2013 to over 45,000 children in Kyriandongo and Rwanmwanja Refugee Settlements today..
However, the cries of those suffering internally in South Sudan also need to be heard, and through a South Sudanese pastor (name protected) Feed The Hungry are slowly getting food into towns and villages in this impoverished country. This is being achieved through a network of churches and pastors who distribute to those in desperate need. This is but a trickle of what needs to be done, ‘but unless you break new ground in messy places, where will the seed of hope find life?”, says Gwyn Williams, Operations Director of Feed The Hungry UK.
This Friday, 23 February, Pope Francis has called for Christians of all denominations to join him in a day of prayer and fasting for the world, focusing specifically on South Sudan and Congo.
We are asking you to join with us at Feed the Hungry, as we join Pope Francis is taking the time to pray for the conflict in South Sudan and for those who are affected by it.