June 25, 2010

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    Conflict in Sudan: Lina Ngbadeegbe lost four family members in exile

Conflict in Sudan: Lina Ngbadeegbe lost four family members in exile

By |25 June 2010|

“I live in Nazerete, an area in Tombura town. It has been four years since we came here from Central Africa where I was a refugee. I left in 1990 because of the war. We went by foot, it took two weeks. My husband died from a disease in exile. Some of my daughters died, too. I came back with one son and one daughter, and then my daughter also passed away. We found it difficult in exile, there was no way to earn a living, and I lost four family members. Then I heard that there was peace, so I came back. When I returned home to Sudan I felt happy because this is the place I was born in. Before we were getting water from a borehole nearby, but now it doesn’t work anymore and I have to go very far to a spring which is hard for [...]
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    Conflict in Sudan: John Bakoyego, a teenager who escaped abduction

Conflict in Sudan: John Bakoyego, a teenager who escaped abduction

By |25 June 2010|

That day, I was sent to the village with my uncle. When we reached it, we didn’t see anyone. But the LRA were sitting under the granary watching. My uncle saw them but didn’t say anything, and he started to run, but he ran in the wrong direction. I ran too. They caught him and I managed to escape because their attention was on catching him. They were kicking him down, he was crying, and when I was running I could still hear his cries. He was 12 years old. I was afraid I would also be arrested. I ran into the bush, the LRA still following me, but I was running faster. I ran past a place where we had hidden some items in the bush in case of an LRA attack – a jerrycan, plates and saucepans - and they started to take those items and forgot about [...]

Conflict in Sudan: Taritizio Nzeme son was abducted

By |25 June 2010|

“We were living in Andari. We left because of an attack by the LRA. They first started attacking people in Congo, then attacked Andari and abducted one of my sons. I went to a trading centre and sent two boys to get tobacco for me, but when they arrived home they met LRA at the house. And the LRA abducted my son. He was the only boy captured in the village that day. Right now, he’s still with the LRA. I know because one woman who escaped from them told me she met him and that they cut his arm off. I don’t know now if he’s alive, but I know that he lost his arm. Because he continued trying to alert someone, so they punished him. He’s lucky it was just that and that he was not killed. I feel really bad for him. I don’t think he will [...]

Conflict in South Sudan

By |25 June 2010|

In a major joint project with United Nations and EU agencies, Caritas is providing emergency aid to victims of LRA attacks in Southern Sudan. Around 1.8 million refugees and displaced people returned to their homes in Southern Sudan over the last years as the fighting finally seemed to have come to an end after twenty years of civil war. Many people had been away from home all those years. Just as they were returning however, inter-tribal violence and attacks from the Ugandan rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) sparked off again, killing an estimated 250 people. Around 100,000 people had to flee their homes once more in 2009. Caritas is providing 400,000 euro to help 5,000 households in the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, Western Equatoria. The aid  includes paying the salaries of support staff for water, sanitation and hygiene activities, peace building projects and distributions of seeds, tools, household kits and food.  [...]

Earning a living in Darfur

By |23 June 2010|

Caritas Internationalis works in Darfur in cooperation with Action by Churches Together (ACT) helping 350,000 people, including 240,000 who have lost their homes. The implementing partner, Norwegian Church Aid, has two national Sudanese partners, the Sudan Council of Churches and Sudanaid (Caritas Sudan). Miriam is a tailoring teacher in Bilel Camp, one of Darfur’s relief camps. It is home to over 30,000 Sudanese who have fled violence. This is her story. “My family came to Bilel Camp because of the fighting. It is still not safe for us to return. I come from Kukuja village which is only about 5 km from here. My husband and 10 children have been here with me for six years now. “Back in my village, I was taught tailoring skills by my mother when I was very young.When I arrived in Bilel, after the community centre was established, they asked me if I would become a [...]

It’s difficult to talk about AIDS in Darfur

By |14 June 2010|

By Edwyn Shiell, Act for Peace - Campaigns & Communication Coordinator “It’s difficult to talk about HIV and AIDS in Darfur. You can’t really talk about it openly in the camps”, says Gloria Gwoka Nakoboji, the HIV/AIDS Project Officer for the Sudan Council of Churches - SCC (A Caritas partner) in Nyala, Darfur. Estimates of people infected with HIV vary greatly across Sudan and in Darfur many people would go as far as to question the existence of diseases in general let alone AIDS. There are deep seeded cultural perceptions of AIDS in the Internally Displaced People’s camps and the SCC continues its innovative work through community networks, campaigns and education in order to counter these perceptions and prevent the spread of the virus. This challenging context provides a variety of dilemmas for the confident and creative workers that have made the project such a success with communities in South Darfur. Gloria said, "Most [...]

Improving hygiene and sanitation in Darfur

By |14 June 2010|

By Edwyn Shiell, Act for Peace - Campaigns & Communication Coordinator The Norwegian Church Aid (a Caritas partner) Water and Sanitation facility in Bilel Camp is a humble thatched building. At the entrance are a series of heart shaped flower boxes made from red brick which bring the surrounding dry desert ground to life. On entering the facility, the cool shade provides a refuge from the blistering heat of the dry day. Adorning the stick walls are hand drawn pictures which depict safe, hygienic practices. A group of ‘Hygiene and Sanitation’ workers led by Osman Haroun, huddle into the small building and spend a few minutes discussing their roles of educating the people in Bilel camp with hygiene messages. One if the workers, Jawaher Ahmad Ibrahim, said, “My weeks are like this. I have 3 days for home visits in the camps for hygiene promotion. This is normally with the women and children [...]

Educators in Darfur discuss ways forward

By |14 June 2010|

By Edwyn Shiell, Act for Peace - Campaigns & Communication Coordinator Since the expulsion of 13 International non- government agencies in March 2009 the ACT-Caritas Darfur Programme, implemented by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and its two National Partners the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and Sudanaid, have had to deal with the significant gaps in education services in the Internally Displaced People’s (IDP) camps. Despite the shortage of education facilities in Bilel camp and the insecurity which the workers must face on a daily basis, great strides have been made in delivering adult education. Camp residents are gaining the means to take control of their lives and provide for their families, though the reduced education services are a concern for residents. Ahmed Yacoub Salahaldin the Chairman of Youth in Bilel camp said, “I teach adult education here in the centre. My family however are all at home without anything to do. I [...]

Job skills in Darfur

By |14 June 2010|

By Edwyn Shiell, Act for Peace - Campaigns & Communication Coordinator (Australia) The sense that there is life beyond a state of emergency in the camps is growing in Bilel camp in Darfur. People are becoming involved with the community centres and vocational training is becoming more and more common. Though insecurity is still rife, camp residents are feeling empowered and are involving themselves in the many skills programmes that the joint ACT/Caritas programme implemented by Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and its two national partners the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and Sudanaid, are offering. Masonry training is one practical skill which the SCC community centre is providing for camp members. David Kat, the Adult Education Officer for the SCC said, “Camp members receive 25 days of masonry training in the community centre. 40 people currently participate, 20 in masonry, 20 in welding. “The skills they learn here are taken back into the [...]

May 26, 2010

Bringing Solar Power to the People of Darfur

By |26 May 2010|

As climate change is heatedly debated by world leaders, communities in Darfur are finding sustainable solutions to water shortages in Internally Displaced Peoples (IDP) Camps. The rainy season in South Darfur typically lasts five or six months of the year. For the remainder, the land is dry, arid and desolate. With the length of the rainy season becoming increasingly unpredictable in Darfur, water has become a precious commodity. While the climate change debate is on the collective brows of our world leaders, innovative adaptive measures are being taken in Darfur to secure sustainable water sources amidst the continuing drought. Osman, the Project Coordinator of a Caritas supported Water and Sanitation Team (WATSAN) said, “Kubum Solar Water Project was initiated by the growing need for sustainable sources of water for IDP Communities in Darfur. This is the first successful example of an aid agency using a solar powered solution for the benefit [...]

December 22, 2009

Working Together to Save Lives in Darfur

By |22 December 2009|

Christian Churches from all over the world are working together to save the lives of people affected by conflict in Darfur. A joint programme involving ACT (Action by Churches Together), a global alliance of churches and related agencies working in the field of humanitarian relief, and Caritas Internationalis has been providing essential life-saving services such as clean water, food and health care to 300,000 people living in camps, and surrounding villages, in South and West Darfur. Nyika Musiyazwiriyo, the outgoing Head of Programmes for the Joint ACT/Caritas Programme in Darfur, says being able to work together has meant the ACT/Caritas Programme has become one of the biggest players among UN and other humanitarian actors in the conflict-affected region of Sudan. “One of our key strengths is being able to draw on each others’ experiences, knowledge, and resources” Nyika explains. As such, the Programme has been able to provide clean drinking water to nearly [...]

Children in Darfur receiving clean water

By |2 December 2009|

Eleven-year old Fatima lives with her family in Khamsadageig IDP camp in Darfur. It is home to 19,000 people. Established in 2005, it is one of the oldest camps in Darfur. Caritas supports programmes that provide water, sanitation facilities and hygiene promotion campaigns in the camp. As the eldest of five siblings, she must help her mother fetch the family’s water every day. Together they collect at least 80 litres of water for cooking, washing and other daily needs. As in many conflicts, the Darfur crisis has affected children in such a profound way. Harrowing stories of loss, deprivation and abuse are common, especially among women and girls. Caritas is working towards reducing the burden children have to face as a result of the humanitarian crisis. One of the success stories is the water, sanitation and hygiene promotion initiative. Caritas partners in Darfur, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), provide water to over 130,000 people [...]

Imagine compassion in a crisis: More than bread alone

By |2 December 2009|

The crisis in Darfur worsened, with 290,000 people fleeing their homes during the first nine months of 2008. Many people fled to Chad and the Central African Republic. Caritas is part of one of the biggest programmes in south and west Darfur, helping 250,000 people. Caritas covers basic needs, including access to clean water, sanitary facilities and healthcare, and help to people to grow food. The rate of trauma is very high. Katherine Gicuku Ireri, is a field coordinator in the town of Nyala. We asked her about her work in the Peacebuilding, Protection and Psychosocial programme. What are the main aims of the Peacebuilding, Protection and Psychosocial (PPP) sector in the Caritas programme? K: To take care of the complete needs of the people, including psychological, protection and peaceful coexistence needs. A lesson learnt from recent emergencies including Kosovo and Rwanda is the importance of taking care of the wide ranging needs, which [...]

November 16, 2009

‘Darfur must not become a forgotten emergency’

By |16 November 2009|

Darfur is in danger of becoming a forgotten emergency, according to Nyika Musiyazwiriyo, the outgoing Head of Programmes for the joint ACT/Caritas Darfur Programme. “Darfur is slipping from our minds,” explains Nyika. “Funding for humanitarian work in the region has decreased substantially since the conflict first came to international attention. And Darfur is no longer a staple segment of our daily news shows.” Yet, the problems remain. “The needs of the people are just the same”, says the Zimbabwean. “Many thousands of people in Darfur still need support each day to access basic and vital things like clean water, food, and health care.” Nyika, has worked for the ACT/Caritas Darfur Programme since 2007. By then, the original conflict between the central government in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum, and the rebel movements in Darfur had evolved into a much more complex conflict involving cross-border dynamics and political posturing with neighbouring Chad, inter-tribal violence, and increased banditry. The [...]

September 2, 2009

Darfur operations set to increase

By |2 September 2009|

A quarter million people are assisted everyday to survive and find a better life in Darfur thanks to the support Caritas members receive around the world. That support is being expanded to include activities in camps were other international aid agencies have been asked to leave. Caritas Internationalis works in Darfur with ACT International, an alliance of Protestant and Orthodox churches and related agencies. As one of the largest operations, the ACT-Caritas programmes are lead by Norwegian Church Aid, in cooperation with two national organizations. And while 16 national and international aid organizations have been recently expelled or closed by Sudanese authorities, Caritas emergency operations continue. Mike Noyes, from Caritas England and Wales (CAFOD) said, “We work from day-to-day and keep the programs on track. NCA has a close and active contact with the authorities to identify the needs and provide the services required. We assist 250,000 people every day.” Mr Noyes sees no [...]