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Thursday, October 17, 2019

Escaping one problem creates a new problem for Nyamuse and her family

Having lost her husband when armed conflict between the government and rebels spilled into her community of Nadiangere, Nyamuse Gidamu and her family fled to Maruko, South Sudan.

Nyamuse and her family took nothing with them when they fled. Even the most meagre possessions, like blankets, pots, dishes, utensils, water containers, cups, and agricultural tools, were left behind in the panic to escape.

Terrified, they traveled day and night for four days, not knowing the way to their destination. When resting, they would hide in the bushes. At night they lay awake and were in constant fear for their lives, alert to the sounds of snakes and lions.

“We had no future for our children because we escaped from one problem to another,” says Nyamuse.

Arriving in Maruko, they discovered that they had no access to a market, let alone money to buy necessities. For example, without access to sanitary pads, the women didn’t know what to do when their menstrual cycle occurred. Evenings were spent collecting firewood to keep them warm at night because they had no blankets for warmth or protection from mosquitos. Lying on the ground, huddled with her family beside the dying fire, Nyamuse still had the tenacity to thank God for her life.

Today, as a result of emergency relief support from HOPE International Development Agency in partnership with the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC), Nyamuse and her family have access to agricultural tools for cultivating crops, food items, soaps, and other necessities. They are doing much better.

There are many challenges ahead for families like Nyamuse’s, but HOPE, along with MCIC, will continue to identify ways to improve the quality of life for families who have lost everything.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Maruko and the Snails

Maruko, a county in South Sudan, has seen little development over the years.

Basic infrastructure such as roads, schools and health facilities are non-existent and problems are further compounded by political, economic and social instability rampant in the country. Maruko’s remote location makes it challenging to access and it is not frequently visited by government officials or neighboring community leaders.

Recently, Maruko has been receiving a large number of persons who have been displaced from neighboring conflict-ridden areas, creating an even more urgent atmosphere.

Local leaders including women’s groups, chiefs, and clergy have gotten together to assess their situation and identify major areas of concern: a school, utensils, agricultural tools, road access, food insecurity, high maternal mortality rate, washing soap, and salt were outlined in their report. The council stated that their number one need was agricultural tools to address food security for the growing community.

A main concern in regard to food security has to do with snails destroying the harvest. Every three years there is an infestation of snails that can last for up to three years. At night the snails can travel over sleeping bodies making sleep uncomfortable. In addition, the snails eat all the edible crops such as groundnuts, maize, young millet, and pumpkins to name a few and this causes entire communities to have to migrate in search of food.

HOPE International Development Agency and the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC) continue to partner to provide emergency relief support for persons who are displaced and living in Maruko. Thus far agricultural tools for cultivating crops, food items, and soaps have been distributed.
Currently, school is held outdoors in Maruko.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Impact of Clean Water in Southern Ethiopia

Families in Kole Zale and Kole Kanchame are as excited as we are as #NOMORETHICKWATER closes in on $50,000 raised for clean water.

The funds will help bring clean water to 650 families, like Shancote's, living in the two communities: that’s 4,000 people!
Working together with local HOPE staff, families are involved with every aspect of bringing clean water to their communities, including preliminary work underway to:
  • Cap four mountain springs 
  • Lay nine kms of water pipe 
  • Construct 21 community water points, including two schools, two health clinics, and one health centre

Clean water is available within minutes of every home. Health and sanitation training, combined with latrines, reduce sickness and support good health for everyone. Women create self-help groups, learn income earning skills, start businesses, and save money for the future. Families become self-reliant and their children go to school.

Local HOPE staff live and work in the community for four months while the system is being built. One local HOPE staff person remains in the village for up to two years, supporting self-help groups, training, and assisting with the management and maintenance of the water system.

In the decades HOPE International Development Agency has been working alongside families in Ethiopia:
  • 300,000 people have clean water
  • 110 water systems built
  • 5,400 kms of pipe installed
  • Hundreds of self-help groups established Thousands of women and their families have achieved self-reliance