Concerns mount over conflict in South Sudan

By |6 January 2012|

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 [...]

Caritas marks seven years of relief efforts in Darfur

By |15 December 2011|

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 [...]

Stay with Sudan

By |12 July 2011|

South Sudan celebrates independence

By |12 July 2011|

Mass in South Sudan for a new nation

By |11 July 2011|

A day after the people of South Sudan came together to declare their independence, they converged on St. Teresa Cathedral of Juba, South Sudan’s capital, on July 10th to celebrate a special Mass dedicated to their new nationhood.

Happy Birthday South Sudan

By |10 July 2011|

By Kim Pozniak Just six months after Southern Sudanese voted with an overwhelming majority to secede from the North, the new nation of South Sudan was born. Southern Sudanese turned out in the hundreds of thousands to witness the declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan, and to celebrate a milestone they had been waiting for since a 2005 peace agreement that gave them the right to vote on whether to stay united with the north or form their own nation. People from all over Southern Sudan came to see first-hand the birth of a new nation this July 9. Some said they traveled for days to make it to the capital in time for the celebrations. “I’m very happy today,” said Alfred Gore Dimitri, who had come with his family to witness the celebration in South Sudan’s capital, Juba. “I’ve been celebrating since yesterday.” Also in attendance at the celebration [...]

Calendar of Church events on South Sudan independence

By |9 July 2011|

A calendar of events for the spiritual preparation celebrating of the independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011. The bishops of Sudan have asked for parishes throughout the world and people of all faiths to join them in praying for peace. Saturday, 28 May Eucharistic procession and launch of the campaign Sunday, 29 May Day of Reconciliation: Preaching on reconciliation at all levels. Mending differences through human dignity with events such as washing of the feet, lighting a candle and prayers of the faithful. Monday, 6 June Schools programme: School children and young people in song, with poems and drawing competitions on the theme of independence, new life, peace and reconciliation. Saturday, 11 June Pentecost Vigil: Adoration gratitude and petition for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Sunday, 12 June Pentecost celebrations. A tree is planted in each diocese as a symbol of new birth. From this day onwards till 9 July, families, institutions, schools, parishes are [...]
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    Day of prayer and cleaning as independence awaits South Sudan

Day of prayer and cleaning as independence awaits South Sudan

By |8 July 2011|

By Sara Fajardo Women bent over handmade brooms sweep the streets of southern Sudan’s capital of Juba free of dust each morning. On the few miles of paved city roads, concrete road dividers are brightened with freshly planted flowers and saplings. The entry gates of buildings and homes boast fresh green paint. The rows of robust trees along the road that houses the majority of southern Sudan’s Ministry offices are adorned with bright white banners that read “Happy Independent Day.” Everywhere there are signs of Juba preparing to be ushered in as the world’s newest nation. Even the electoral countdown clock that once ticked away the hours left for southern Sudanese to cast their ballot for self-determination has been reconfigured to flash stats of the Republic of South Sudan’s pending nationhood: “East Africa’s newest nation #6, the United Nation’s Country #193 , Africa’s Youngest Nation.” Recycling bins and newly minted trash cans [...]

Supporting half a million people in Darfur

By |7 July 2011|

Community centres are drawing in more displaced people in Darfur, giving them stronger bonds while also teaching them practical skills as many enter their eighth year of living in relief camps. Although Darfur has all but disappeared from the headlines, fighting worsened in 2010, with an additional 250,000 people displaced from their homes. In the Bilel camp, building and welding is taught at the community centre. David Kat, the Adult Education Officer there says the skills are taken back into the camp and shared: “The men become trainers themselves. They can also try for jobs in town and look beyond the narrow confines of the camp.” In 2010, Caritas Internationalis provided half million people with assistance, working in cooperation with the Action by Churches Together (ACT), an alliance of Protestant and Orthodox Christian agencies. Since 2004, Caritas and its partners have raised $90 million for the people of Darfur. Caritas member [...]

South Sudan: Preparing for independence

By |7 July 2011|

By Kim Pozniak When I arrived in South Sudan’s future capital Juba yesterday, the joyous preparations for independence were immediately apparent. Landing at the airport, another passenger pointed out the newly installed lights along the runway to allow for night flights. Everywhere you look there are small signs of progress. Driving along Juba’s bumpy, dusty roads, you see women cleaning the streets. Signs for the long expected independence have been put up along small storefronts, on crumbling walls and white washed tree trunks. Spending my first day in Juba, I spoke with many people about their hopes and dreams for the new nation. I want to tell you about two of them. Taban Benneth, 25, works as a driver for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and plans to see the celebrations firsthand so he can tell his children and grandchildren that he was there when the flag was raised for the first time. “I’m really happy [...]

Southern Sudan votes for peace

By |7 July 2011|

Fighting in southern Sudan only ended five years ago after more than three decades of war. Many people knew only conflict. “ We have to work at all levels and across all areas to build a sustainable peace,” says Paul Nantulya, an expert in peacebuilding in southern Sudan with one of the American Caritas members, CRS. “ The churches are the peacebuilding architecture on which everything rests in southern Sudan; they have deep institutional memory, knowledge and skills. We have built ‘people-to-people’ diplomacy and discussion from the grassroots, to the military, to the top political leadership. Crucially, we have invested in giving people training and livelihoods, which makes them less likely to pick up a gun again.” Duku Martin John was one of many young men who had known nothing but war. Now he’s the host of “One People”, a radio show about reconciliation which is supported by the Sudan Catholic [...]

Delivering help in Sudan

By |6 July 2011|

Andy Schaefer, CRS technical adviser for emergency coordination, was in Agok as part of the Caritas response in Sudan that supports  more than 100,000 people forced from their homes by recent violence in the contested border area of Abyei. CRS is a Caritas member. The situation here in Agok is still very fluid. It’s been a few weeks since their displacement from Abyei, and you still see people coming and going. Some are leaving to go further south while others are arriving because they’ve heard from the government that it is safe to return. This is the planting season, so people are trying to make decisions about what they’re going to do over the next few months for food. It is important to them to be able to get seeds into the ground to harvest crops in the coming months. Their very livelihoods are in jeopardy. Markets here continue to be bare. [...]

Taking the long view in Sudan

By |6 July 2011|

Andy Schaefer, CRS technical adviser for emergency coordination, was in Agok as part of the Caritas response in Sudan that supports  more than 100,000 people forced from their homes by recent violence in the contested border area of Abyei. CRS is a Caritas member. One thing that has become apparent to me while working to meet the needs of those displaced from Abyei is that the Church’s presence really is a symbol of hope. A few Sundays ago during Mass, local parish priest, Fr. Biong gave a speech about helping people to rebuild their lives and the need for continued support during this difficult time. This is such an important message for everyone to hear: the displaced, host communities, and those working to help meet their needs. Priests like Fr. Biong help people to feel that they have not been abandoned. He continues to be with his people seeking refuge in Agok, [...]

Darfur stories: Changing lives in 2011

By |1 July 2011|

  Life and hope for Fatima  Fatima is a 35-year-old mother of six and from the Fur tribe in Darfur. She fled her home in Jebel Marra in 2004 when fighting flared up in the area. Her father, husband, two brothers and her mother-in-law died in the conflict. Fatima headed to Nertiti, but they were attacked again before they arrived. Eventually they reached their destination, homeless and without hope. She received some food from people who already lived in the camp and she used her cloak to provide shelter for her children. Then the rains started and there was no one to look after them. She had never thought that this would one day have been her destiny. No shelter to protect her children from the sun, heat and rain. No a jerry can to bring water. She decided to go to Hassa Hissa camp in Zalingei where her relatives lived. [...]

Health, clean water and food in Darfur [Gallery]

By |1 July 2011|

Caritas Internationalis supports over half a million people in Darfur with Act International, the alliance of Protestant and Orthodox aid agencies. Caritas programmes provide clean water, shelter, livelihoods, health and a sense of community to people traumatized by conflict.

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