Nawal, 27, was a little confused when people showed up at her thatched hut one day, asking about her baby daughter. “They measured her arm to see how thick it was,” she remembers.
One thing wasn’t confusing: the family was hungry. “At home we don’t have any food,” she says simply. Though her husband earns some money as a daily labourer, there isn’t enough for the four children. “One of our little sons was in school, but he had to drop out. Our situation is bad.”
Nawal’s situation has been bad for almost a decade, ever since the day her home village in Darfur was attacked. Shot in the leg and hiding under a tree, “I thought I would die,” she remembers. Her mother did die that day.
With thousands of others, Nawal escaped to one of Sudan’s camps for displaced people. They were safer there, but could no longer earn a […]
“When I entered my farm, it was so pretty that I was singing.” Abubakar, a 37-year-old father of ten, was happy with the rainy season in Darfur in mid-2012. “I saw I’d have a good harvest.”
Abubakar had put a lot of work into his crops of groundnuts, millet, maize and okra. “At the beginning of the season, I peeled the groundnuts to plant. It’s hard to shell so many. My fingers hurt and were swollen,” he remembers. “I worked on the farm for hours each day. I sweat so much my clothes were soaked.”
Not far away, thousands of livestock herders in Sudan were also working hard to keep their animals healthy and find food for them. “During the rainy season, nomads move from south to north,” says Mohammed Abdelkarem, a programme officer with Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), an implementing partner of Caritas. “On the journey, they pass through farming […]
Seldom has a joint programme between aid agencies made such a personal impression on an employee, but the partnership of ACT Alliance and Caritas—Protestants and Catholics helping Darfur–struck a cord with an aid worker in the region. Here, he describes why he likes his nickname.
My real first name is Abakar. But everyone calls me “Actcaritas.” I like it. When I go to the camps for displaced people, they all call me “Actcaritas.” My real name is lost.
I am logistics fleet assistant. I buy diesel in the market and take it to the camps. We use it to run the water systems, so the people have water. We used to need 30 drums of fuel for all the camps. Now that the programme has built solar-powered water stations, we use less fuel.
ACT/Caritas has supported NCA [Norwegian Church Aid] for a long time in Darfur. There were always very strong here. […]
By Laura Sheahen
“When we first came here, we were getting water from the valley, seven kilometers away.” Muhammad is a long-time resident of a camp in Darfur for people who fled violence. He remembers what it was like nearly a decade ago, when thousands of desperate people first arrived. “Farmers were settled closer to the valley, so we couldn’t live where the water was. But when we went to get water, they helped us.”
Ten years later, hundreds of thousands of people remain in Darfur’s camps. They’d like to go back to their villages, but until they can, Caritas-funded programmes are making sure they can live in dignity. 2013 marks 10 years of keeping vulnerable Darfuris alive and making their lives better.
Water is one example of the progress that’s been made. Muhammad’s camp is on dry, dusty land—some thorn trees, scrub brush, and baobabs grow there, but not much else. […]
South Sudan became the world’s newest nation on 9 July 2011.
Twelve months later, we celebrate the achievements of the people and churches of South Sudan and of Caritas South Sudan and its Caritas partners in working towards peace and development.
The challenge has been huge. South Sudan has started life as one of the world’s poorest countries. A third of children do not see their fifth birthday, half the population lives in extreme poverty, only a third of people are literate.
Millions of people were forced from their homes and now have started to return. They must build their nation from scratch.
The road has not been an easy one. Conflict in the Nuba Mountains and Abyei has spiralled into serious humanitarian emergencies. Clashes between Sudan and South Sudan or with rebel fighters have taken lives and wreaked havoc on infrastructure like water systems, as well as education.
Caritas has worked in partnership […]
Caritas staff and volunteers have been working flat out all over South Sudan to prepare for the return of refugees from north Sudan.
In Juba, between 12-15,0000 returnees stranded in Kosti in the White Nile State in north Sudan are expected to arrive over the next few weeks by plane. The governor of White Nile State, citing insecurity concerns, said that the presence of over 12,000 South Sudanese in Kosti is no longer tolerated and they have to move before 5 May. The South Sudanese from Kosti are travelling to Khartoum and then flying down to Juba.
Caritas Juba with the support of the Caritas Coordination Unit is helping get a site outside Juba ready for the returnees. Today, 700 returnees have arrived at the site according to the Sudan Catholic Radio Network.
Caritas Juba Emergency Coordinator Agnes Serafino said that 16 volunteers were offloading building equipments provided by IOM (the International […]
People in Sudan and South Sudan face a humanitarian crisis if the two countries continue along the path to war.
Months of clashes have intensified in recent weeks bringing the two civil war adversaries close to all out conflict.
Caritas says that only peaceful negotiation between the two sides can resolve their disputes, while a return to fighting will mean everyone loses.
The stakes are high.
Two million people were killed and four million forced from their homes in the decades long war that ended in 2005 with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that led to South Sudan becoming independent in 2011.
Both countries but especially South Sudan have very poor medical services, shortages of food are a constant preoccupation for the people and infrastructure is weak.
There are fears that the 500,000 South Sudanese currently living in Sudan will flee south, sparking a huge refugee crisis.
Caritas has been working on both side of the border […]
Caritas Internationalis fears that a full scale war is imminent between Sudan and South Sudan with dire humanitarian consequences for both unless there is pull back from further military action.
South Sudan became independent from Sudan last July following a popular vote. It was the culmination of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of war.
However, areas of contention including border demarcation, the status of disputed areas in Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile and oil rights still have not been resolved.
The Caritas confederation of over 160 Catholic aid agencies fears that recent clashes over these issues have now brought the two countries to the brink.
Caritas is also concerned over the use of extreme rhetoric by officials and that it is inciting an environment of fear. Attacks in Sudan on Christians such as the ransacking of the Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Khartoum on Saturday are deeply troubling.
Over 500,000 South […]
Hazel Williams is the humanitarian coordinator for Darfur of CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales). She recently paid a visit to some of the many camps that house people who have fled fighting in the region. Caritas works with the Act Alliance of Protestant and Orthodox aid agencies in a unique ecumenical cooperation, through the operations of Norwegian Church Aid, Sudanaid (a Caritas member) and the Sudan Council of Churches. Solar power is making an extraordinary difference in camps in Darfur, Sudan, by providing much needed water to those living there. As we enter Khamsadigay camp, which houses just under 20,000 people, we weave through narrow alleys between the temporary structures that people have slowly erected over the last eight or nine years. It’s a Friday morning, so the dusty burnt orange sand tracks are illuminated by groups of flowing white galabiyas – the traditional robes that Dafurian men wear for Friday prayers. We […]
By Rene Lambert,
My colleague, Jane Andanje and I, flew in a small eight-seater plane from Juba to Boma Town in Jonglei, South Sudan. We were on our way to see how Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Internationalis might assist thousands recently displaced by conflict. In recent weeks, Boma, a small verdant mountain town of around 7,000 had swelled with the arrival of roughly 2,400 people displaced by inter-communal violence between two ethnic groups the Lou Nuer and the Murle. The U.N. estimates that more than 60,000 Murle fled their homes when around 8,000 armed Lou Nuer youth raided towns in search of stolen cattle and kidnapped children.
Jonglei is one of South Sudan’s most underdeveloped states. It lacks most basic services like electricity, running water, paved roads, schools and healthcare facilities. Many believe these factors are catalysts for conflict. With limited opportunities, youth often resort to violence to amass resources.
Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a Caritas member based in the US) is poised to respond to the declared emergency in Jonglei State in South Sudan, where an estimated 50,000 people have been displaced since late December due to ethnic conflict between the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes that has claimed an estimated 1,000 lives in the past six months.
“The current situation remains very fluid, with many families having fled their homes for other towns further away from the conflict,” says CRS South Sudan head of programming, Isaac Boyd. “Others have dispersed into the countryside, making it difficult to determine how many people are in need of immediate assistance.
“Regardless of the exact number, United Nations (UN) and government reports from Jonglei indicate that many villages have been burnt to the ground, and affected families face the prospect of returning home to absolutely nothing,” Boyd says. “This includes the loss […]
2011 was a historic year for Sudan. It saw the secession of the southern part of the country from the North after one of Africa’s longest running civil wars.
But in Sudan’s Darfur region conflict continued. More than 300,000 people have been killed since 2004 in Darfur and over 2.7 million people forced from their homes.
Caritas Internationalis members provide food, clean water, health care and other humanitarian services regardless of social, religious or ethnic differences to over a million people in West and South Darfur through two programmes of work.
A Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a US Caritas member) programme meets the immediate and long-term development needs of more than 500,000 people.
Caritas also works with the Act Alliance of Protestant and Orthodox aid agencies in a unique ecumenical cooperation, through the operations of Norwegian Church Aid, Sudanaid (a Caritas member) and the Sudan Council of Churches.
A joint Act-Caritas appeal for […]