South Sudan

South Sudan is expansive and largely rural with 83 percent of the population residing in rural areas. Poverty is endemic with at least 80 percent of the population defined as income-poor and living on an equivalent of less than $1 per day. More than one third of the population lacks secure access to food. 

 The country gained its independence from Sudan in 2011 but is facing an ongoing civil war that started in December 2013 and has resulted in a dire humanitarian crisis. Responding to the ongoing civil strife is nothing new to Salesian missionaries in the country. They have been continuing their educational and social development programs in communities across the country while also responding to the ongoing humanitarian crisis. 

More Missions In South Sudan

Respond to refugee needs

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has noted that nearly 2.2 million people are displaced within South Sudan, and millions have fled seeking safety and shelter in neighboring countries. Many of those fleeing South Sudan are women and children. They include survivors of violent attacks and sexual assault, children who have been separated from their parents or traveled alone, the disabled, the elderly and people in need of urgent medical care. UNHCR notes that South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, has now joined Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia as countries that have produced more than a million refugees.

Fighting in the country intensified in July 2016 near the country’s fifth anniversary of independence. During the first year of the war, fighting was initially between Nuer and Dinka ethnic communities aligned with the rival leaders but of late a wider array of armed groups and communities have been drawn into the increasingly lethal violence.

Salesian missionaries living and working in Juba, the largest city and capital of South Sudan, and in other places across the country, have been on the front lines providing humanitarian relief for those in need. They are also working within their networks around the globe to access aid, while continuing their educational and social development programs in communities across the country.

Provide youth centers & safe activities

In December 2015, 270 youth took part in a 10-day summer camp operated by Don Bosco Gumbo located in the town of Gumbo on the outskirts of Juba, the largest city and capital of South Sudan. The camp was organized by Salesian missionaries in collaboration with members of the St. Vincent de Paul parish. Students from Salesian schools in the area, youth from communities surrounding Juba and those living in a camp for internally displaced people participated in the summer camp. During the course of the 10 days, the teams competed in recreational activities and sports with an emphasis on developing a healthy sense of competition and camaraderie. Each day began with a morning assembly that included positive messages of hope, joy, peace and love followed by morning classes in English and Arabic. After a mid-morning breakfast, campers engaged in sports and recreational activities including games and art, speech, singing and dance competitions.

Provide clean, safe water

Salesian missionaries completed a water well project in Morobo, a village less than two miles away from Don Bosco Gumbo, a Salesian center located in the town of Gumbo on the outskirts of Juba, the largest city and capital of South Sudan. The village had been completely destroyed during the country’s fight for independence in 2011 and much of its population had fled to safer areas. Despite continued fighting across South Sudan even after independence was gained, close to 4,000 people have come back to make the village of Morobo their home once again.

One the most urgent needs in Morobo is access to clean, safe water. The nearest water source is in Juba, which requires residents to make a long daily trek to carry water back to their homes. From November to May each year, South Sudan experiences a dry season and most sources of surface water dry up. The water well project in Morobo provides the local people drinking water as well as water for sanitation and daily chores. Missionaries constructed the water well by drilling a borehole and installing a hand pump. Its construction has improved the health of residents, increased agricultural production and led to a better quality of life for families, especially for girls and women.

Empower girls & women through education

Students attending the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Juba have received scholarships to help afford their education and continue their studies thanks to funding from Salesian Missions donors. Both young men and women attend the Don Bosco Center to gain an education and the skills to find employment. The scholarships, which are mainly focused on female students, cover 50 percent of the school’s tuition, making it much easier for young women to gain an education.

Due to lack of financial support in South Sudan, many families force girls into early marriages. With this program, the goal is to reduce the incidence of early marriage and allow young women to gain an education and independence in the workplace.

Respond to disasters & emergencies

Salesian Missions provided funding to Don Bosco Gumbo, located in Juba, to support coronavirus prevention and nutrition efforts at a local camp for those internally displaced in the country.

With the funding from Salesian Missions, Salesian missionaries with Don Bosco Gumbo put several measures in place for the prevention of the virus. They have installed hand-washing facilities at all entry points and hand-washing facilities at the camp for internally displaced people (IDPs). Salesian missionaries are also providing a special health screening for the IDPs at the Don Bosco Dispensary. This is not for COVID-19 screening but for general health check-ups. Salesian missionaries are also providing one meal each day for more than 3,000 children at the IDP camp.

Deliver life-saving meals

Conflict and famine in South Sudan are severely affecting minors across the country. In March 2017, a famine was declared in parts of South Sudan. UN agencies warn that almost 5 million people urgently need food, agriculture and nutrition assistance. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) noted that ongoing war and a collapsing economy have left some 100,000 people facing starvation, and another 1 million people are classified as being on the brink of famine.

Salesian missionaries at Don Bosco Gumbo and across South Sudan, including Salesian Sisters with Mary Help of Christians, continue to work within their networks around the globe to access additional humanitarian aid including food aid for families in need. In Gumbo, Salesian missionaries have two camps that currently have more than 1,000 families (roughly 10,000 people) who have been displaced. They also assist hundreds of families in the surrounding neighborhood who are starving due to the present crisis. At the Salesian church compound in Wau, Salesian missionaries are providing shelter and assistance to 2,500 people and reaching out to thousands of others displaced within the city.

In addition, Father David Tulimelli, parish priest at the Salesian St. Vincent de Paul parish, which operates Don Bosco Gumbo, was praised for his efforts to assist those who have been internally displaced by the ongoing conflict. According to a Premier Christian Radio article, Fr. Tulimelli fed 4,000 people in a year as the country’s refugee crisis intensified. Fr. Tulimelli has partnered with the international aid agency World Vision to provide food for people facing starvation.

Deliver essential equipment & supplies

In addition to the food aid provided by Salesian missionaries at Don Bosco Gumbo, Salesian missionaries are providing essential school supplies for students attending Don Bosco Primary School located on the Don Bosco Gumbo campus. Salesian missionaries provided new pens, pencils and school stationary for the new school year. The primary school serves 1,000 children, many from families who have been internally displaced.

Improve health services

Salesian missionaries have been working in Tonj, a town in the northwest region of South Sudan, for several years. Their focus has been on providing education and social development services for poor youth through the operation of primary and secondary schools and youth centers. In addition, the missionaries operate several medical clinics, including a leprosy clinic, as well as a hospital.

Today, 20 families of people affected by leprosy are living in a place called Laicok where Salesian missionaries have constructed buildings that have space for each family in their own room. Salesian missionaries, with assistance from Salesian Sisters from the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians, have been providing care and aid to those suffering from leprosy. They are provided shelter, food, clothing and sanitary items like soap, as well as medical care.

The leprosy program was started by Father John Lee who arrived at the Salesian mission in Tonj in 2001. A new hospital named for Fr. Lee was opened in Tonj in late July 2014 after four years of planning and construction. The current facility consists of maternity and surgical wards and a residence for medical and administrative staff. The hospital was fully operational in 2015. Volunteer doctors from Italy provide the medical care at the hospital.

 

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE: Salesian Missions highlights life-changing humanitarian aid, scholarships and support for poor youth around the globe 

Programs in India, South Africa, South Sudan and Thailand illustrate the work of Salesians strengthening the ideals of peace through education and social supports.   NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Sept. 21, 2020) Salesian Missions, the

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF CHARITY: Salesian Missions highlights life-changing educational and social programs for poor youth and their families

Salesian missionaries are working in more than 130 countries around the globe, bringing poor youth and their families education, workforce development and social programs.   NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Sept. 5, 2020) Salesian Missio

GLOBAL: Salesian Missions funds COVID-19-related projects to ensure Salesian organizations can provide nutritional support and prevention measures in countries around the globe

Salesian Missions has supported nutritional and prevention projects in Burundi, East Timor, India, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, South Sudan and Zambia   NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Sept 3, 2020) The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has

SOUTH SUDAN: Salesian Missions donors provide funding for scholarships for young women to attend Don Bosco Vocational Training Center

The scholarships cover 50 percent of the school’s tuition, making it much easier for young women to gain an education.  NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Aug. 27, 2020) Students attending the Don Bosco Vocational Training Center in Juba, 

SOUTH SUDAN: Salesian Missions provides funding to support Don Bosco Gumbo with nutritional assistance for 275 vulnerable displaced families

The Don Bosco Gumbo camp for internally displaced persons has access to food, hygiene products and other items to help care for the well-being of those displaced. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Aug. 7, 2020) Salesian missionaries at St. Vincen

GLOBAL: More children at risk of life-threatening malnutrition due to COVID-19, says new global report

Salesian Missions is fighting hunger around the globe through nutrition projects supported by partners to provide ongoing food relief. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Aug. 7, 2020) Worldwide, an additional 6.7 million children under the age of

SOUTH SUDAN: Salesian Missions provides funding to support Don Bosco Gumbo with coronavirus prevention initiatives and food assistance

The funding supports coronavirus prevention efforts and nutrition assistance at a local camp for those internally displaced in the country. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (April 15, 2020) Salesian Missions, the U.S. development arm of the Sales

HUMAN RIGHTS DAY: Salesian Missions highlights education and social programs that provide youth the skills training and support they need for a brighter future

Programs in Colombia, India, Peru and South Sudan illustrate the work of Salesians around the globe that enable youth to access education and support in understanding their rights. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Dec. 10, 2019) Salesian Mission

WORLD TEACHERS’ DAY: Salesian Missions highlights initiatives that support and train teachers around the globe

Educational initiatives in Ghana, Haiti, South Sudan and Spain illustrate the work of Salesians around the globe that highlights this year’s theme in support of young teachers. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (Oct. 5, 2019) Salesian Missions,

WORLD REFUGEE DAY: Salesian Missions highlights technical skills training and social programs for refugees

Salesian programs in Egypt, Kenya and Uganda highlight this year’s theme of taking big and small steps in solidarity with refugees. NEW ROCHELLE, NY (June 20, 2019) Salesian Missions stands with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and

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