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The Diocese of Maridi is located in Western Equatoria within the newly created state of Maridi. Like many other areas in South Sudan, the Diocese has been greatly affected by the ongoing conflict in the country. There is constant displacement of people, destruction of means of livelihoods and community settlement area and villages. For example, in August 2017, at Amaki payam eight miles north of Maridi town, people from the whole area were displaced into the town since their food had been looted and destroyed, leaving the people vulnerable.
It was of great joy and thanks that the Diocese received a donation of $US1,718 from the SCA via the ACROSS office. With this money, the Diocese was able to purchase 100 basins of maize and distribute to 50 of the most affected families. Each family received two basins of maize corn. The Diocese was also able to buy a one-way ticket from Maridi to Kampala for a stranded university student to return for his studies.
This fund was used as follows:
- Purchasing 100 basins of maize corn $1,000
- Administration and transportation $200
- Transporting one student to Uganda $300
- Diocesan Administration (fuel and stationery) $200
- Bank charges $18
Total expenditure $1,718
We very much appreciate this effort and commitment to support the Church in South Sudan in her ministry at such a critical moment in the country.
‘Peace Catalysts’ –Healing the wounds of heart in Amadi State, South Sudan
By the Rt. Rev. Bismark Monday Avokaya – Diocesan Bishop, Diocese of Mundri of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan – Internal Province of Amadi.
Conflict in South Sudan and world over, has never been good and in most cases has stalled development and created ethnic tensions, as is the case in South Sudan. Particularly in a situation when the majority of the population are illiterate. Such is the situation in South Sudan.
South Sudan, was applauded when it got independence in 2011 for its resilience and liberation struggle. But this was short lived when fighting erupted in December 2013 within the members of Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army (SPLA) splitting their command loyalty between the two Principals. Unfortunately, the said forces mercilessly fought amongst themselves, slaughtered and carried out numerous atrocities within a short period in South Sudan. Sadly this barbaric action changed the narrative and face of South Sudan among the nations of the world to date.
It dehumanized the dignity of south Sudanese immensely creating huge hatred and mistrust amongst the 64 tribes of South Sudan with negative impact on the relationship with the international community as well. The conflict – of unimaginable proportion – forced some individuals to slaughter their own community members and carried enormous atrocities. The conflict, made those with guns to never trust one another. The civil authorities have not been respected either and often humiliated and tortured as well. Hence the UN has put a conservative figure of 400,000 people who have died during the conflict since 2013.
However, going by the current events there is hope for peace and stability to prevail in South Sudan, yet to have sustainable peace there is huge need for genuine change of attitude and paradigm shift on the mindset for the armed forces and the civil population. Given that the conflict had inflicted intense fear in the country’s populace. Subsequently, such fear has created wounds in the hearts of many which need healing. Therefore, the only remedy is to turn to the Lord for healing therapy through Trauma Healing, forgiveness, reconciliation and Peace Building processes!
Given its God-given mandate, the Diocese of Mundri, conducted a ‘Trauma Healing and Peace Building’ workshop for the Government organised forces, Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Army In Opposition (SPLA -IO) and the Civil Authority in Mundri town on October 31st to Nov. 4th, 2019. The workshop which was attended by over 130 participants, was graced by the four Bishops of Internal Province of Amadi, the Governor of Amadi state, his Deputy, Ministers, Commissioners and Chiefs. The target beneficiaries were the command structure of the Gov. Army, other organized forces, the SPLA – IO and Civil Authority, and it was remarkable and befitting to the purpose of consolidating trust and confidence building amongst these forces in Amadi State.
The Revitalised Peace Agreement (RPA), signed in Addis Ababa in September 2018 provided an opportunity for relative peace. This Revitalised Agreement, is an opportunity for the world and friends of South Sudan to stand in solidarity for realising peace and stability. As it is a known fact that South Sudan has never enjoyed peace! But for peace to prevail it may require concerted efforts of everyone to embrace peace. And the intense fear of revenge, trauma and psychological related experiences, as a result of persistent culture of war, can only be defused by God through the ministry of the Church by teaching the Bible.
The church in South Sudan – as an intermediary – managed to bring sanity and relative peace by initiating peace building and trauma healing processes and at many times bringing the opposition fighting forces and civilians together for dialogue and reconciliation. Such processes are mitigation and change processes which are vital for soldiers and civil authority.
The Diocese of Mundri has Christians, some of who are in the armed forces, who are traumatized and live under perpetual tension, anger, hallucination and hatred caused by the conflict. This condition affects the social fabric of the society and the church teachings. But the workshop was able to bring leaderships of both the government forces and opposition together for candid discussion, reflection, confession and healing with a view to healing the wounds in the heart and consolidating trust between the civil community and those with arms in order to restore trust and build confidence in relationships for a peaceful co-existence.
Money donated by the SCA through ACROSS has been used in The Episcopal Internal Province of Eastern Equatoria to make a distribution of food aid. The pressing need that was identified in Torit was hunger which forced many people to flee the town. Those who have been displaced in the town and those who decided to die in Torit have been affected by famine which claimed some lives. Many live on fruits and vegetables. People have flcoked into the church compound to seek for assistance with the supply of food.
On behalf of the Displaced Diocese of Wonduruba, kindly accept our heartfelt thanks and gratitude for the support of 1,718 USA Dollars donated by the Sudan Church Association through ACROSS to the Displaced Bishop of Wonduruba Diocese.
The received fund was converted into SSP314,600 South Sudanese Pounds. Thus, the expenditures are tallied as follows:
- Eight (8) most vulnerable IDPs received ….. 16,000SSP
- The nineteen (19) displaced pastors received each 2,000 SSP = 38,000 SSP
- The twenty-six (26) displaced lay-readers received each 1,500 SSP = 39,000 SSP
- The eighteen (18) displaced women workers with badges received each 1 ,000 SSP = 18,000 SSP
- Bishop’s up-keep 15,500 SSP
- Payment for three (3) students from the diocese of Wonduruba at Bishop Gwynne College for one whole year @ 12,000 with receipt attached 36,000 SSP
- Diocesan vehicle maintenance received 95,500 SSP
- Cost of purchasing second hand HP-Printer for Bishop’s office 56,600 SSP
The grand total expenditure is 314,600 SSP