Aid Helps Break the Cycle of Poverty
A GAiN team trip to Southern Sudan this summer was a source of encouragement for everyone…for the visiting team, accompanying A.L.E.R.T. staff, and grateful Sudanese who had been receiving GAiN-provided food through our in-country partner’s distributions. Our team members noted that the general condition of people we saw at the food distributions was significantly improved.
The summer months of June and July are the best months to distribute food while encouraging self-sufficiency. During these months there is no other food available, and crops planted earlier still have a couple of months’ growing before harvest in the fall. Without a store of food to distribute to people in this 2 month window, people have no choice but to eat their crops before they have had a chance to ripen. This means that there is no seed left to save to plant for a crop the next year. In this scenario, the cycle of poverty stays entrenched as the same vicious cycle repeats itself. Having GAiN containers of non-perishable food stored and ready to distribute during these needy months means that this cycle can be broken!
Health Returns to Mundri County
Eighteen months ago when a GAiN team visited Mundri county, they saw many people with acute nutritional needs, evidenced by distended bellies, poor skin quality and discolored hair (indicating a protein deficiency). On this trip, however, people have muscle rather than only skin and bone, and the team didn’t see one person in dire need of food. People’s general health in this area seems to be much improved over a year and a half ago. Our in-country partners especially remember the ardent conviction of mothers with young children or pregnant women. They make any effort necessary to be at the front of the distribution line, as they’ve seen the difference in their children’s health. There are women now pregnant who are convinced that the dried soup mix has special properties that make it possible for them to conceive! Science would tell them that prior to the food distributions, their bodies were not healthy enough to nurture a new life. These women and their children are arguably the happiest people in Mundri county.
Life-Giving Pure Water Flows to Many
Another contributor to people’s happiness and health in Mundri county is water! Fresh, pure water now gushes from 22 completed water wells, drilled by our in-country partners. When water is plentiful, social tensions decrease. When water is nearby, time is saved and able to be spent living, growing, working, playing, and learning. These new water wells give plentiful water in places which are convenient to many; up to 22 000 people can now have their water needs met by these wells! These communities are now living in the direction of self-sufficiency and stability, thanks to your compassionate partnership!
A.L.E.R.T. Trauma Counselling Saves Lives
Southern Sudan – GAiN A.L.E.R.T. staff (Acts of Love Emergency Response Team) have conducted 3 trauma counseling training seminars to date in Southern Sudan. These adult students want to be equipped to reach out and demonstrate God’s love, offering hope and emotional help to fellow Sudanese. There is an overwhelming need for this, as the entire population has seen much violence and war over 40 of the last 50 years. A required part of completing this seminar is a practicum, where for several hours students are in their communities, practicing what they’ve been learning. During this trip there were two amazing experiences as a result:
Elinda, one of the trauma counseling students, was in a village and heard several people crying inside a hut. She entered the hut to find out what was wrong and found a mother and two children crying. She began to talk to the mother, who told her that she was having a very difficult time…This was her second marriage, having been divorced before, she had no food to feed her two children, no job or money, and her current husband was not taking steps to help provide for her and the children. And, she was pregnant with a third child. Just before this conversation had started, this mother was grinding glass and putting it into some liquid. She was going to feed it to her children and drink the rest herself, seeing no hope for any of them to continue living. Elinda had walked into the tent in the nick of time. She began to talk to this mother and children, using what she had learned at the A.L.E.R.T. trauma counseling seminar, and they began to see hope again. By the end of their several hours together, Elinda was able to help this mother and her children see that they were not experiencing their pain alone and that there was a good reason to have hope for their future. As she left them, the mother and children were smiling and were looking forward to being visited by other students who could support them further.
Another of the A.L.E.R.T. seminar students was a young pastor who was heavily burdened. He finally poured out his heart to the teaching staff and some fellow students and explained that he had a wife and a little boy, but that his wife was on the verge of leaving him. A couple of the students went home with him that night and listened to and talked with his wife about how she was feeling and about her struggles. After their time together that evening, this young wife and mother decided to stay with the family! She has also made her peace with God she is full of hope!