‘Bring Forgotten Crises Back Into Focus This Refugee Week’ Says Tearfund 

  • 70% of people in the world’s newest nation in need of humanitarian assistance
  • The church in South Sudan is responding to a forgotten humanitarian crisis with support from Tearfund’s match funded summer appeal. 

1 in 3 people have had to flee their homes, either internally or across the border, since 2013 in South Sudan. Tearfund’s Country Director in South Sudan, Erickson Bisetsa, is urging donors not to forget the ongoing crisis.  

This refugee week (17-23 June) Tearfund has launched an appeal that will provide access to water, agricultural and livelihoods expertise, peacebuilding and trauma counselling for people living in poverty around the world. 

“It’s my prayer that this refugee week the world will bring its focus back to supporting forgotten crises, like the crisis of a huge gap in funding that we are experiencing in South Sudan. Since the outbreak of war in neighbouring Sudan 600,000 people have fled back home to this country, but we were already struggling to stretch limited resources and food supplies. 9 million people in South Sudan are in need of humanitarian assistance. That’s 70% of the total population,” he explains. 

With so much need and a huge gap in funding resources for multiple humanitarian crises globally, Tearfund’s South Sudan team are once again teaming up with the local church to light a beacon of hope and encouragement in the world’s newest nation. 

“Churches know the needs of their communities and how best to respond with the resources available to them. In times of crisis, people turn to the Church for help. They are often the first to respond and will continue to serve the community in practical ways before, during and after a crisis. In the context of the extreme poverty that we see in South Sudan, the words of Jesus, who teaches us to love our neighbour, have never been more relevant.” explains Erickson Bisetsa, Tearfund Country Director in South Sudan.

“Our Transforming Communities programme offers training to women, youth and other disadvantaged groups to increase their participation in local and national peacebuilding and community development. The programme establishes self help groups so that skills and expertise can be shared more widely in the community to support vulnerable people to integrate into local markets and access income-generating opportunities. One of the core objectives of the programme is to reduce dependency on humanitarian aid, which is increasingly under pressure.” 

Mary, a mother to 5 children, who previously fled to neighbouring Uganda due to conflict in South Sudan has now returned to rebuild her life and community in Kajo Keji. She describes how the programme changed her life and mindset: 

Before I received this training, I was traumatised. Now, I am happy. I am free from trauma and l enjoy good sleep and good health. I am now independent. Before, I only thought about who would support me, but this teaching has helped me to become self-reliant.

I identified one of the God-given resources around me as the soil to make bricks. So, I took a small loan and hired people to lay bricks to construct my home. Then, I decided to lay bricks and fire them myself. After paying back the loan for laying the bricks, I went back to my group to take another loan to increase the size of my tiny house.

Because of the training, I am also farming. My family no longer faces hunger. And I was able to pay my children’s school fees. These are the benefits I have gained from the training.

For more information about the work of Tearfund or to donate, please visit www.tearfund.org/poverty or call 020 3906 3906. 

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