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World Vision in South Sudan
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The Republic of South Sudan is one of the worlds’ youngest countries, only gaining its’ independence from Sudan in 2011. It is also one of the least stable, considered to be the second most fragile state in the world according to the Fragile States Index 2016 (fsi.fundforpeace.org). The recent round of violence, further destabilizing a marginal economy and undermining basic services, has bolstered this pessimism.

As befits an organization trying to serve where multiple separatist groups battle the government (and each other) World Vision has remained staunchly apolitical. World Vision sees its’ mission in South Sudan to serve the most vulnerable, children and their caregivers, regardless of politics, race, or religion.

“We are careful to remain neutral and to push for humanitarian principles,” says Michael Messenger, President and CEO of World Vision Canada. “Our team in South Sudan is in emergency mode, providing food and essential supplies, and to monitor malnutrition.”

The situation in the country is dire. In Juba, the capital and largest city there is little food and clean water to be had. The markets are empty. Homeless refugees number in the hundreds of thousands, with many coming from neighbouring Sudan as a result of the crisis in Darfur.

The renewed unrest has had a devastating effect as well on World Visions’ ongoing battle for peace in the region. Programs that have had promise for greater stability, such as one which taught single mothers how to farm to sustain their families, have been thrown into chaos as staff have either had to “hibernate (stay in country but go into hiding)” or evacuate the country altogether. The unrest also tends to undo all the relational work World Vision does with local groups to be able to serve the vulnerable.

“The people of South Sudan are incredibly resilient and dedicated to their children,” says Messenger. “Right now the short term needs have to be met, but commitment to long term peace is as important.”

One practical way Canadians can help the people of South Sudan is with the donation of funds. Providing funds to World Vision means that they are able to purchase food and vital supplies closer to the crisis, realizing a major savings on shipping costs and allowing more culturally relevant products to be bought. It also strengthens relationship with countries they purchase goods from.

The donation also allows flexibility in dealing with the water crisis. World Vision has multiple tactics in assisting with this, from several types of treatment of Nile River water (when available) to the drilling of bore holes (deeper than normal wells) and the provision of hand or solar powered pumps in more arid areas of the country.

The other practical way to support World Vision in South Sudan is to pray. The leadership of World Vision asks that you would pray into three areas:

1) Pray for the children of South Sudan, that they would know peace.
2) Pray for the leadership of South Sudan, that they would pursue peace
3) Pray for the workers of World Vision, that they would be safe to exemplify peace.

Please seriously consider sowing both funds and prayer into World Vision. To donate to help the children of South Sudan go to: /www.worldvision.ca/give-a-gift/raw-hope/Pages/default.aspx.