published in Emergency on October 17, 2018

UPDATE: good news from South Sudan!

 Through ALWS, you show kindness to people hurt by conflict in Africa. That’s why we need to bring you the latest news from South Sudan…

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Update: 17 October 2018

Good news! Here is an email update from Girma, who manages the LWF program in South Sudan. 

 

From: Girma
Date: 14/10/2018 5:45 AM
To: Jonathan Krause & ALWS
Subject: LWF South Sudan – Maban Update

Dear all,

With the relative improvement in the security situation in Maban after interventions at and from different levels, most of our Maban staff who had been relocated following the July 23 incident are now back at base.

As indicated in our last update, even while most of our relocated staff were away, early childhood development (ECD) centers, accelerated learning programs (ALP), and primary schools continued to run classes in three of the four refugee camps, namely Kaya, Gendrassa and Yusuf Batil, without significant pause. That was made possible because the teachers there are refugees and the refugee leadership were also committed to ensure classes continued.

The primary schools and ALP classes in Doro camp, the nearest to the county center, Bunj, resumed after a week’s suspension following the incident. It was mainly the secondary schools that had remained suspended until the return of our relocated teachers who are now back.

Full scale implementation of activities has gradually resumed and is progressing generally well, but with challenges in terms of transport capacity limitations due to the damage done during the incident to four of our seven vehicles.

According to indications from UNHCR, the replacement or repair of the vehicles damaged during the incident will take, at least, some more weeks due to the processes involved with their insurers and the repair/delivery time required.

To address the transport capacity gap meanwhile to the possible extent, we have continued to coordinate our movements in the camps with the multi-functional team (MFT) from UNHCR and partners. 

We will keep you updated in case of any further significant development.

Thanks and kind regards,

Girma Benti Gudina, Country Representative, South Sudan  

 

Great news! Your vital work through ALWS helping refugee children go to school 
continued despite the attacks.

We thank God for this, and for the commitment of the staff who are returning.

Thank you for your prayers for the team, and for the people of South Sudan. We’ll keep you updated with any changes.

 

Date: 30 August 2018

As you know, conflict broke out in South Sudan in December 2013. People have suffered terribly:

  • 50,000 people killed – UN figures
  • (some reports suggest 300,000 may have died)
  • displaced 4 million people (one in three)
  • 2 million refugees to other countries
  • pushed inflation to 300% per annum

Through this difficult time, working through ALWS and our partner Lutheran World Federation (LWF), you have welcomed people:

  • to Camps inside South Sudan (eg Maban)
  • as they arrive in northern Uganda
  • influx into South Darfur
  • Transit Centre at Nadapal on Kenya border
  • at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.

 Good News: Peace Agreement!

 At the end of July, key South Sudanese leaders signed a ‘Declaration of Agreement’ to work for:

  • permanent ceasefire within 72 hours
  • transitional authority within 120 days
  • national elections in 36 months

While peace is holding for now, and talks continuing, there have been challenges…

Attacks on the LWF team you support

On Monday 23 July, aid agencies – including our partner LWF – were attacked in camps at Maban.

Around 2,000 people forcibly entered the UNHCR compound where LWF and other agencies are based.

LWF had 73 staff on-site when the attack came.

While 70 escaped through an emergency gate to a protected UN compound, 3 staff stayed to guard the compound. Their courage limited damage to:

  • 4 Land-cruisers from UNHCR attacked
  • windows smashed in offices & staff quarters
  • furniture destroyed

We thank God our team was protected from harm.

Since the attack, 51 staff have evacuated to capital Juba. Other local staff returned to their homes. 4 staff are receiving trauma counselling.

Our LWF South Sudan Country Representative, Girma Benti Gudina, emailed me to say:

“It is a great source of encouragement to remember
we have committed friends in ALWS staff and supporters.
We are so thankful.”

 

Your ongoing work in South Sudan

As well as caring for people who had to flee their homes, you support development work in Uror, Twic East and Duk counties in Jonglei State.

This development work is unaffected by the conflict in Maban, and progresses smoothly.

Last year, the ALWS family supported:

  • 400 Households to be trained in crop and vegetable farming
  • 2,400 families received Seed Packs:
    • 2gms Okra
    • 2kg cow-peas
    • 100gms tomatoes
    • 100gms eggplants
    • 3kg sorghum
    • 3kg maize
    • 3kg groundnuts
  • 2 x fishing coops established: fish production, preservation & marketing
  • 15 Income-generating groups x 20 members
  • 398 vulnerable women each received 5 hens & 1 rooster to set up chicken farms
  • 400 children at Early Childhood centres received learning materials
  • 7,886 primary students received support
  • 4 classrooms built at Panyagor
  • 460 schoolgirls received Dignity Kits

Looking ahead

God willing, this work continues.

In Maban, while LWF has suspended activities for August, the team has reassured the community:

‘LWF remains committed to the people of concern in Maban,
and is willing 
to resume activities, but can do that only if the working environment allows.’

What you can do

  1. As always, your prayers are a special gift.

You may like to focus on:

  • lasting peace for South Sudan
  • wisdom and grace for South Sudan’s leaders
  • comfort to those who have lost so much
  • safety for the LWF team inside South Sudan
  • reassurance to Maban staff evacuated
  • strength for the LWF teams in Kenya,
  • at Kakuma and Dadaab refugee camps
  • hope for those waiting inside refugee camps
  • a gracious welcome to refugees who find safety and a new start in Australia
  • patience and wisdom in helping deal with the challenges for our new neighbours.

2. If you would like to give a monetary gift for the ongoing development work in South Sudan, simply click here

3. If you’d like an ALWS guest speaker to visit your church, school, fellowship group, home … just ask

Thank you!

On behalf of the LWF team inside South Sudan, and our team here at ALWS, we pass on our sincere thanks for your kindness, generosity and encouragement at this challenging time.