Until December 2013, South Sudan was on a gradual path to recovery after 25 years of civil war, mass displacement of communities, frequent famines, and other disasters. That path took a sharp turn throughout 2014 and 2015, however, when the country was plunged back into a civil war, with widespread conflict and insecurity. In July 2016, conflict again broke out and thousands of South Sudanese people were displaced.
Renewed fighting has caused mass trauma and rekindled much of the fear and resentment that fueled inter-communal violence for so many years. It also increased the already vast scale of poverty in this new country.
World Renew is responding to this crisis in South Sudan and Uganda.
Over 25,000 people do not have access to latrines in the Bidibidi refugee camp and are at risk of preventable diseases such as cholera, typhoid and hepatitis.
World Renew, with generous funding from the Integral partner TEAR Australia, is responding in the Bidibidi refugee camp.
For the thousands of South Sudanese that have fled their country and taken refuge in Bidibidi, the most immediate need is latrines. As of November 21, Bidibidi had more than 220,000 refugees, but this number is projected to reach 300,000 by the end of 2016. 3,200 latrines are needed. As the scale of need continues to increase, more and more South Sudanese refugees are faced with substantial health risks.
World Renew and local partner Here is Life have built 532 latrines so far. A donation of $250 covers the cost of one latrine unit which serves 50 people.
In 2014, World Renew began a trauma healing and reconciliation program to provide much-needed psycho-social support to those whose lives have been devastated by the fighting. When this work first began, it became obvious that these programs must be led by local churches, and women’s groups.
“Trauma healing and reconciliation requires an intimate knowledge of the local context, culture, and language” says Thomas. “Local churches and women’s groups have the long term presence and knowledge required for effective engagement with conflict affected communities.”
Through training local churches and women’s groups to provide trauma healing to those affected by conflict, World Renew is able to have a positive impact on communities that will last for many years to come. Trauma healing and reconciliation enables people to deal with their deep trauma, and reduce hatred and resentment. Through this, they are far less likely to renew the cycle of violence through revenge attacks on those who have hurt them, fostering peace among families and communities.
With funding received from the ACT Alliance, World Renew is expanding the trauma healing and reconciliation program to support 35,000 people, the majority of whom are women, who have been disproportionately affected by the violence. The farm radio program, that provides agricultural information to thousands of farmers in Yei County, is ongoing.