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Thursday, November 24, 2011

South Sudan: The Families of Abiyeh Persevere with ‘Commitment and Seriousness’

The South Sudanese families that fled the village of Abiyeh this past summer approached our staff without anything but the clothes they were wearing. The violence between Northern and Southern forces that forced them from their homes had traumatized them, and they were hungry and extremely afraid. We appealed to our friends for help and we’re happy to be able to report that the families are doing much better.

Shortly after taking stock of the situation — 2,800 people in an utterly terrible situation—we received the means to help them. We gave out food, farming tools, and seeds to plant so that they could immediately reestablish a semblance of self-reliance. They gratitude they communicated is very hard to relay. What would you say if you believed you would die and then strangers from across the world paid for you to eat and farm again, keeping your children alive?

We will leave you with the words of the chief. His response reminds us of why it is all too easy to want to help the Sudanese people. They are not victims; they are survivors:

“Please pass our sincere greetings and thanks to the people who thought of us, who pray for us and support us like they did today in this camp. We are extremely happy for those generous hands. I am going to encourage our people here in the camp to come together and work hard so that we can have enough food at home for consumption this year and have a surplus of food to sell. Our children didn’t have access to school this year because we were unable to raise the money to pay for their school fees. Thanks be to God because we have the seeds and tools now — but we still need commitment and seriousness!”

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