A plan to expand Church of the Brethren agriculture and trauma recovery programing in South Sudan is receiving support from Brethren Disaster Ministries and the Global Food Initiative. A joint allocation directs $29,500 to the work in South Sudan, including $24,500 from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) and $5,000 from the Global Food Initiative (GFI).
The plan has been developed by a collaboration of staff and volunteers including South Sudan mission staff Athanasus Ungang, the Global Mission office, and the volunteer Country Advisory Team.
The trauma recovery and resiliency work will be done through a partnership with Reconcile, an independent NGO with roots in the ministry of former Brethren mission workers who have served in the region.
The joint allocation is a major boost to the annual Global Mission funding for South Sudan, which supports administration of the Brethren Peace Center in the city of Torit, church planting, various agricultural projects, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Athanasus Ungang (right), the Church of the Brethren mission worker in South Sudan, with one of the evangelists he has been training in the village of Lohilla. (Photo by Jay Wittmeyer)
Continuing needs in South Sudan relate to the civil war that preceded the country’s independence in 2011. The region has seen more time at war than peace in the last 60 years, with the most recent war beginning in 2013.
After many failed peace accords, the September 2018 agreement has held, resulting in many displaced families returning home from refugee camps. There was hope of rebuilding and new development to support millions of food-insecure people, but flooding in 2019 and locust infestations and the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 weakened the ability of families to support and feed themselves.
As of January this year, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reports that 8.3 million South Sudanese need assistance–more than two-thirds of the population–including 2.19 million refugees in neighboring countries and 1.62 million internally displaced people. Some 1.4 million are malnourished children.
There are three ways to give financial support to the work in South Sudan:
— through the Global Mission office at https://churchofthebrethren.givingfuel.com/all-ministries (under “Fund” click on “Global Mission”),
— through the Emergency Disaster Fund at www.brethren.org/edf, and
— through the Global Food Initiative at www.brethren.org/gfi.
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