Conflict in the Sudan predates the birth of modern Sudan in 1956, however, it is in more recent years that this has become more widely known in the developed world. The internal conflicts have been responsible for the deaths of approximately 2 million people, and the displacement of over 4 million. The mass exodus of refugees from the south of the country began in 1985-6 but continues to this day.
The area of Darfur in the west of the country has come into particular worldwide focus in recent times; regarded by the UN as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. In Darfur alone, more than 2 million people have been forced from their homes and are living in makeshift camps or with host families. 3.5 million people are without food.
Here are some images taken by SVP members visiting Sudan:
The Society of St Vincent de Paul has been active in addressing the needs arising from the internal conflicts for a number of years. This has resulted in the establishment of a number of facilities and programmes including:
Homes – our oldest programme, take in orphans who are placed in the care of Sudanese couples, who act as foster parents and try to establish new family ties with them. Children receive food, medical attention, schooling and the affection so necessary to a child’s survival. Seven homes (four for girls and three for boys) are hosting about 200 children. All of them are orphans who survived the war raging in the South.
Farms – farms were set up to cater for the older children, the adolescents who are becoming more numerous, and to whom, in addition to primary and secondary education, we wished to provide the possibility for them to learn a trade. They learn how to cultivate the soil and rear cattle and in fact they produce enough food not only to nourish themselves but also contribute food supplies for the homes.
Older street children as well as displaced adults living in the vicinity benefit from our training centres.
In our farms and in three other centres, workshops provide training in carpentry, bricklaying, electrical work, welding, agricultural techniques and tailoring for both men and women. In two of the centres, we started refrigeration and air-conditioning workshops; in another one, leatherwork is taught
In the five centres, we also provide health awareness, first aid, adult education and methods of fighting HIV/AIDS.
We hope that the authorities will officially recognise the certificates given at the end of the course, which have already enabled a good number of their beneficiaries to become self-employed or to find a job.
Medical programme – Displaced people arriving in the capital, Khartoum from other regions of Sudan including Darfur, weakened and suffering from malnutrition, are obviously prone to various diseases such as diarrhea, bilharzia, malaria, bronchitis, tuberculosis, eye infections, intestinal worms, skin diseases, aids and venereal diseases. SVP members felt that they could not ignore such problems. In addition to nourishing the body and spirit, they set out to pay particular attention to the problems of the weakest. An average of 50,000 treatments are provided each year by a team of volunteers and staff including doctors, pharmacists, nurses, lab assistants, midwives and administrative employees.
Water Programme – Camps in the desert where the people have been displaced desperately need drinking water. Three tankers are supplying everyday about 120,000 litres of drinking water to these camps and to the 60 schools of the Archdiocese of Khartoum present there. In addition, a well has been bored which allows the population living nearby to obtain this precious water more easily. Each farm also has its own well.
Baby feeding Centres – In the poorest areas of the suburban shanty towns, several thousand children under the age of five suffer from malnutrition so serious as to cause irreversible brain damage. Over recent years between 4,000 and 10,000 small children have been fed at any one time depending on need in 17 centres on the outskirts of the capital, including about 370 babies living in jail with their mothers. If you would like to support this baby feeding initiative, then please use the form available via our Resources page or directly by clicking here.
Sudan – Country Information (Supplied by BBC News)
Sudan, once the largest and one of the most geographically diverse states in Africa, split into two countries in July 2011 after the people of the south voted for independence. The government of Sudan gave its blessing for an independent South Sudan, where the mainly Christian and Animist people had for decades been struggling against rule by the Arab Muslim north.
However, various outstanding secession issues – especially the question of shared oil revenues and the exact border demarcation – have continued to create tensions between the two successor states. Sudan has long been beset by conflict. Two rounds of north-south civil war cost the lives of 1.5 million people, and a continuing conflict in the western region of Darfur has driven two million people from their homes and killed more than 200,000. Sudan’s centuries of association with Egypt formally ended in 1956, when joint British-Egyptian rule over the country ended. Read more..
The information contained on this page is available as a downloadable / printable file, in the Resources page, under country reports. ( This is in PDF format)
South Sudan is like a new born baby. Once the umbilical cord has been cut, the baby still has to be cared for. The SVP in South Sudan are going to need our support for many years to come.
Peace came at last to South Sudan after the new country was formed in July 2011. However, fighting erupted in the South Sudan capital, Juba, in mid-December 2013. This new internal conflict followed a political power struggle between President Salva Kiir and his ex-deputy Riek Machar. The squabble has taken on an ethnic dimension as politicians’ political bases are often ethnic. Sudan’s arid north is mainly home to Arabic-speaking Muslims. But in South Sudan there is no dominant culture. The Dinka and the Nuer are the largest of more than 200 ethnic groups, each with its own languages and traditional beliefs, alongside Christianity and Islam.
The basic ethos of Twinnage is much in evidence in South Sudan where Conference members work one-to-one with those in desperate need as well as huge numbers of the population displaced by war.
The SVP is caring for over 12,000 Internally Displaced People from the areas of Bentinue, Malakal, Bor and Kworijik. The Disaster Fund (SVP England & Wales) administered by the Twinnage Committee is being used to alleviate the suffering and improve living standards. Every month each one of 2,200 households receives: 50 Kg maize flour, a bucket of beans, 5 liters of cooking oil, 2 packets of salt and 1 tablet of soap.
Typical of the situation in South Sudan – in April 2015 we received a message saying: “…….the village we (Terry Brown and Ian Mawdsley) visited outside Juba (Kworijik) is burnt down to ashes in the nomads-farmers conflict. SVDP members have been terribly suffered, the village is deserted and people displaced. It’s a consequent of the unjustified war that pushed cattle headers to farming areas……..”
As in Sudan major programmes affect the future of the population in general and people’s lives in particular. The successes achieved previously in the area around Khartoum, Sudan in recent years have been replicated in the south near Juba. Here, the Luluggu Centre addresses the present and future needs of the population. What else can anyone ask for but the ability to look after themselves and provide for their family?
The objectives of this major programme have been agreed:
- To develop human capabilities of working age people to be productive.
- To provide them with necessary skills to perform professional occupations in the labour market.
- To strengthen values of equal rights, justice, fair and equal social responsibility and participation, non-discrimination and equal treatment among men and women.
In addition to vocational training, facilities at the Centre also include baby feeding and a medical clinic.
Because these programmes address the causes of poverty and provide long term solutions they virtually guarantee value for money. Keeping children alive and then educating them is surely the best way to alleviate poverty in the long term.
The SVDP in Juba do not sit back and expect support from us and others without helping themselves. Income generation projects have been developed which will help in future sustainability. Egg production, chicken breeding, brick making, furniture manufacture, and tree nurseries/timber production, already contribute substantial income, and our members and staff have ambitious plans for the further development of income generation.
Previous Breaking News – 19th July 2016
South Sudan – Country Information (Supplied by BBC News)