Growing numbers fleeing conflict in South Sudan

By |16 January 2014|

Growing numbers fleeing conflict in South Sudan. The humanitarian situation in many areas is extremely grave. Caritas has been providing aid since the crisis broke out.

South Sudanese church leaders call for peace

By |19 December 2013|

Church leaders in South Sudan are united in calling for peace and national reconciliation after violence breaks out, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes

Thousands in need of aid in South Sudan’s Pibor

By |14 August 2013|

Ongoing violence in South Sudan’s Jongeli State has forced an estimated 100,000 people from their homes into the bush.  The recent clashes include inter-communal violence between Lou Nuer and Murle people. Those who have fled the fighting  and are living in the wilderness have no food, clean water or healthcare. Aid agencies are struggling to reach them due to the fighting and heavy rains that make the roads inaccessible. Caritas is working with the UN’s WFP to distribute food to those displaced and effected by the violence in the Pibor area in Jonglei. Caritas South Sudan has been mobilising diocesan staff and parish volunteers to support the humanitarian response in Jongeli State. Caritas member Catholic Relief Services is also supporting the intervention. Caritas South Sudan said, “A big thank you to the parish volunteers from Archdiocese of Juba and the Dioceses of Tombura-Yambio and Wau. In an act of true solidarity, they are travelling to [...]

A Decade in Darfur: Caring for the Sick

By |8 March 2013|

Ten years ago, when thousands of families first crowded into Darfur’s camps, there were few medical options. Many turned to hit-or-miss traditional remedies, or simply hoped for the best. For life-threatening problems like scorpion stings, difficult childbirth, and malaria, camp residents were at the mercy of fate.

The Least of These: Helping Leprosy Patients in Darfur

By |21 February 2013|

The NCA programme also teaches people how to recognize the signs of leprosy quickly, because if the disease is caught early on, it can be stopped in its tracks. Since the training, medical assistants have identified new cases and patients have started treatment with tablets provided by the government.

Ten years on, Darfuris still arriving at camps

By |21 February 2013|

Eight months pregnant and carrying a child on her back, Miriam Ibrahim urged her other two children on: ‘“Walk quickly.” For three days, the family had no food as they trekked across the hot, sandy dirt of western Sudan, encountering snakes and wild animals. They slept under trees. The ground burned and there were thorns; Miriam had no shoes. And she didn’t know exactly where to go: “There was no road.” Some passing nomads saw the bedraggled family and gave them a small plastic container for water. The family also found food over the next week. But it took ten days of walking before they reached a camp for other people who fled shooting and violence. There they found relatives, one of whom offered Miriam flip-flops . One of the first things Miriam did after arriving was slather her raw feet with mud. Ten years after violence broke out in Darfur, there’s [...]

A Decade in Darfur: Mothers and Children at Risk

By |21 February 2013|

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 living by farming. Some camp residents do tasks like brickmaking, making enough money to buy the day’s kilo or two of grain.

A Decade in Darfur: Healing Relationships

By |21 February 2013|

“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 [...]

A decade in Darfur: Call me Actcaritas

By |6 February 2013|

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. [...]

A decade in Darfur: challenges and progress

By |4 February 2013|

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. [...]

Prayer for South Sudan’s one year anniversary

By |4 July 2012|

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    South Sudan marks 1st anniversary in its long journey to development

South Sudan marks 1st anniversary in its long journey to development

By |3 July 2012|

On the road in South Sudan, landmine warnings flash by and demining groups work on unexploded bombs left over from war. But in a vehicle full of Caritas workers, the passengers are more worried about the insects flying around. Are they mosquitoes? Tsetse flies? The vehicle splashes through puddles where snails and worms live that can make you very ill. Almost every bad tropical disease you've heard of is found in this corner of East Africa. And nearly every problem a country can face is here: violence from within and without; almost no water systems, paved roads, electricity, schools or clinics; war orphans and war widows; half a million returnees with no homes; thousands of guns in the hands of armed groups. South Sudan, the world’s newest country, has it all. It has it all in a better sense, too: rich fields, plenty of natural resources, the blessing (or curse) of [...]

South Sudan’s lost generation comes home

By |3 July 2012|

“There was bombing and shelling, soldiers. My children kept saying, ‘What’s happening?’” Nyanareng, a 28-year-old mother of four, didn’t have time for long explanations when violence struck Abyei, a disputed border town between Sudan and South Sudan. She just told her children to run. “We walked five days on foot. We’d dig in the ground for water,” she said. It was May 2011, and hot in the bush. Her children survived. But her mother died of exhaustion. “We weren’t allowed to bury my mother in Touralei, so we came here, to Agok.” South Sudanese have often been the people nobody wants. Sometimes they’re shuffled from refugee camps to way-stations to transit areas. Or they’re targets, running from bombs and bullets, trying not to get separated from their children or wives or husbands. After a decades-long civil war, South Sudan is now its own country, a nation getting its people back. A huge fraction [...]

South Sudan one year on

By |3 July 2012|

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 helping stranded South Sudanese return home

By |17 May 2012|

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 [...]

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