There is still widespread violence in South Sudan, which is deeply affecting many communities there. It has also impacted the work of World Renew in Uganda because many refugees have fled from South Sudan into Uganda. (World Renew also works in South Sudan and you can read more about that here). Joseph Mutebi, our friend who is a Program Consultant in Uganda, shared the following information and pictures with us. He has been working with the refugees who are now in northern Uganda.
The Ugandan government has graciously provided several sites for the South Sudanese refugees to set up temporary canvas dwellings, including a site in Bidibidi (in northern Uganda). That site is supposed to accommodate 100,000 people. With so many people living in a camp like that, there is a huge need for, among other things, clean water and sanitation facilities. Below you can see people carrying branches and trees to use for building temporary living structures.
World Renew is working through an organization called Here is Life (HIL) to help care for these refugees. At this point, they have mainly been helping to build temporary pit latrines and bathing shelters. So far, 170 pit latrines, which include a bathing structure, have been completed (which is enough for about 3,000 people - each one has more than one "seat"). But they plan to build another 700 latrines to have enough for everyone. Here are some pictures of people digging latrines:
It's a huge task, to try to assist so many people who have fled their homes and country. Please pray for peace in South Sudan! The world pays attention for at most a few weeks, and then the news goes on to other things, but in the meantime people are suffering, and there is desperate need for more support to those working in these camps. Please consider supporting World Renew's efforts as they try to help with the refugees who are in Uganda. You can do that on this page. Although the relief mentioned above has been to meet physical needs, World Renew would also like to start addressing the high level of trauma they have seen among the refugees, which is another urgent need. This would mean starting some activities for trauma healing, both in the Bidibidi camp and also in another refugee camp called Rhino Camp. Your support would help provide the necessary materials for this.
Even here at Berea College, we can see the effect of the conflict; we have one theology student from South Sudan. His name is William. His home was completely destroyed during the recent fighting in South Sudan and he and his family had to flee to Uganda. Now his family is staying in one of the refugee camps while he is here at school (someone in South Sudan is financially supporting him with his school fees). He tells us that there is not enough food for everyone in the camps, so his family and most others are starting to grow very thin. Please pray for them, but overall keep praying for South Sudan.