Christian Mercy International (CMI) in South Sudan implements activities within the push and pull of both material and spiritual poverty, developing education, health, and agriculture initiatives in the Aweil district. GMP has also established partnership with the LAID Foundation of South Sudan (LAFOSS), investing into peace-building initiatives in Juba.
According to CMI Director, Paulino Malou Bol, poverty in South Sudan is being fueled by factors such as famine, corruption, overpopulation, low literacy rate, war and conflict, inadequate health care, lack of development of better resources and lack of improved food security. Paulino expresses that, “The government is more like a dictatorship than a democracy. There seem to be no practices of good, honest leadership and Christians are not living out their faith so that they would be exemplary to others.” CMI wants to make a difference in South Sudan and be a light.
One way LAFOSS is investing into future leadership of the country is through the establishment of Peace Clubs. LAFOSS have conducted a peace and conflict management conference for Christian and community leaders, motivating and training them to promote peace through their networks. They have also trained high school students to lead Peace Clubs in their schools. They are educating and helping to raise new leaders of peace. CMI aims to establish 25 Peace Clubs in local primary and high schools, as well as bringing together church and non-church leaders from different tribes. Santino Makol Ngor and Peter Makuei, who started LAFOSS, are from the two major tribes that are fighting each other in South Sudan. Working together under Christ, they are aiming to demonstrate and promote the peaceful relationships they are seeking for their country. Santino, Executive Director of LAFOSS, reported on the impact of a Peace Club training in July:
“Nyakah – from a local tribe, was recently appointed chairlady, because she participated in the peace club workshop,” he said.
Nyakah took up her story. “Because of the knowledge, I’m now able to talk about peace to my neighbourhood, community and friends. I have mediated six cases – I have led them in discussion until we have reached a peaceful conclusion!”
CMI wants to help meet basic needs like food, shelter, safe drinking water, clothes, medical care, education and other social services. CMI is currently tackling the issues of poverty through education. Emmanuel school, providing education and meals for orphaned and vulnerable children, was recently noted as the best school in the district level baseline research survey conducted by the County Education Department. By empowering caregivers of Emmanuel school students with small agriculture business initiatives and goats, children can now access further education and healthcare from the small family incomes earned.
Paulino has been studying social work and community development at university in Uganda to equip him to lead CMI into the future. He is passionate about including the spiritual care of the community in the plan for tackling poverty. Paulino explains, “There is material poverty, and there is also spiritual poverty”. CMI are providing counseling for displaced people in the local camp in Aweil, and encouraging local pastors to attend Bible College. Paulino has visited some South Sudanese refugees where he is studying in Uganda.
GMP supports the work of CMI and LAFOSS and is committed to partnering into the future to see the cycle of poverty end in South Sudan. One way you can help achieve this is by purchasing a Great Gift from the new catalogue to help the projects in South Sudan.