Returnees from Exile

1 Comment » Written on September 28th, 2009     
Filed under: Community Development, Disaster Relief
The Evangelical Covenant Church of Sudan began in Ethiopia in 1997 among a large group of South Sudanese refugees. In 2005 most of the destitute refugees walked several days to return to their homeland. Covenant World Relief has been involved with this group from the beginning and has helped them get resettled in Sudan. They have been able to start some small businesses as a way to generate income for the group. With CWR funds they have also been able to start a rudimentary school that now has more than 1200 students. The classroom walls are made of reeds. The government is helping by paying teacher salaries and providing text books. Most of the children received no education while in the refugee camps in Ethiopia, so some are having a difficult time catching up to grade level.

Life remains very difficult for most people in South Sudan. Tension still exists between the north and the south and the people here realize that they might have to flee again to Ethiopia at some point. To make matters worse there are tensions between tribes in the south. Last week one tribe attacked the village of another tribe not far from where we are in Malakal.  More than 100 people were killed, mostly women and children.
(You can read more about this attack in a bbc news report online here.)

Much of what CWR has been involved here would be considered emergency relief because of the tenuous and dangerous situation. Our goal is to move to longer term community development, but until peace and reconciliation are achieved that will be difficult. In spite of the circumstances the people are filled with hope.

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One Response to “Returnees from Exile”

THanks for this story. I also want to add that Prairie Hills in Sioux Falls, SD was a catalyst for the Sudanese Church. PHCC offered hospitality to several Sudanese refugees and formed a church partnership that continues to this day.

Alan Holte and a small prayer group welcomed the new Sudanese fellowship church into their building, and the story goes 300,000+ people later, the Sudanese Covenant Church is returning the hospitality and blessing to us and the world.

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