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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Standing alongside families in South Sudan

When the fourth anniversary of South Sudan’s independence arrives in a few weeks, it will not be easy to find something to celebrate.

In the years since its founding in July 2011, South Sudan has managed to fall back into old habits that plague much of this region of Africa: ethnic conflict, corruption, and willful brutality against anyone who merely tries to live their life and not pick a side in conflicts driven by the aforementioned.

On its fourth birthday, the fledgling African nation will be home to 3.7 million people without enough to eat on a daily basis, 50,000 chronically malnourished children, and nearly 1 million people living in limbo, having fled their homes for fear of being killed or maimed in the crossfire between warring ethnic groups.

During all of this conflict and chaos, HOPE International Development Agency donors have stood alongside families forced to live in limbo. They have given generously to ensure that families displaced or affected by conflict have clean water to drink. They have supported education programs for children, ensuring that precious childhood learning years are not lost to conflict. And, they have helped families with food support, and more importantly, enabled them to grow their own food, despite being displaced from their homes and lands.

So, when the fourth anniversary of the world’s youngest nation arrives in a few weeks, we will celebrate thousands of lives saved and changed, while at the same time, being very mindful that a lot more needs to be done because thousands of people have yet to be helped.