Published: 11:00 GMT Daylight Time - Friday 30 March 2012
Barnabas helps Christian families forced to leave Sudan
“Many people come to us … often women asking the church to help them and their families. It is terrible as they are so many and we have very little material things that we can give them.”Barnabas Fund church partner in Malakal, South Sudan
A Christian gathering in Malakal,
Thousands of Southern Christians have been fleeing Sudan since the government removed their citizenship rights last year after the South voted to secede. Last month, Khartoum set a deadline of 8 April for all people of Southern origin (who are mainly Christian and mainly African) remaining in the strongly Islamic and Arab Sudan either to leave the country or to be treated as foreigners.
Many of those entering South Sudan are taking shelter in camps set up for returnees from the North and elsewhere.
In the Hai Salam camp in Malakal, where Barnabas Fund is providing food and other essentials to the neediest Christian families, people are living in desperate conditions. They lack proper shelter, medicine, food and clean water. Every day the women have to walk two hours each way to collect water from the River Nile.
Many people cannot find work, and most children are not going to school. Diseases are not being diagnosed and treated, and there are fears that many lives could be lost to malaria when the wet season begins in June.
Families are seeking help from the Church in South Sudan, but it is overwhelmed by the need. Barnabas Fund is helping by providing emergency supplies, including sorghum (grain), salt, plastic sheets to protect the shelters from flooding during the wet season, mosquito nets, blankets, water drums and cooking pots.
It costs approximately:
- £10 to feed one person for a month
(€12, US$16, AU$15, NZ$19)
- £40 to supply a family with plastic sheeting
(€48, US$64, AU$62, NZ$78)
- £50 to equip a family with essential items including jerry cans and cooking pots
(€60, US$80, AU$77, NZ$97)
- £70 for water storage per family
(€84, US$112, AU$108, NZ$136)
Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:
South Sudan is completely overwhelmed by the influx of people effectively forced out of Sudan. The Church in the South is doing all it can to extend Christian love and practical support to the thousands of families entering the country, but it is struggling to cope. Working with trusted church partners, Barnabas Fund is taking some of the strain. But the need is great, so please help us to increase our support by giving whatever you can for our brothers and sisters in South Sudan.
For a quick donation of £3.00 by SMS (see terms and conditions here) text Barnabas/990 to 70007 (Please note: This facility is presently only available to UK supporters).
- For all those who have left or are in the process of leaving Sudan. Pray that they will receive all the practical support and resources they need.
- For the Church in South Sudan as it tries to care for and help brothers and sisters entering the South. Pray that the Lord will provide for and bless them in this endeavour.
- For Christians and other Southerners who remain in Sudan, that the Lord will protect them from those who are hostile to their presence in the country and seek to harm them.