The following is a report and latest update from Joseph Aba which we hope you will find of interest.
Prior to massive exodus of the people out of Kajo-keji to Uganda and others to internal displaced persons camps (IDPs), a lot of progress has been made in providing health services to the people and we register a lot of great testimonies all over Kajo-keji on the impact of the clinic.
We received great comments from the UN staff and Chinese who worked on 3 bridges of Kaya , Koni and Kayibo and they made it a point to meet CRESSUK CEO to thank her for the well done job. The head of CRESS in South Sudan requested for the wire fence from UN and they donated the wire and frame. We are so much humbled with such a kind and gracious offer.
The first commissioner of Liwolo county and other government dignitaries visited the clinic and were really thrilled. The bishops who came for the consecration and enthronement of bishop Emmanuel Murye as the 3rd bishop of the diocese of Kajo-keji and the team of bishops send to assess Liwolo to be granted the status of Area diocese were amazed with the standard of the clinic and the quality services offered. It has the admiration of the people.
- Over 10,000 bricks were laid and burnt for the construction of 4 staff houses.
- Aggregate stones and other materials were transported to the clinic to make the path way into the clinic
- All clinic valuable assets were evacuated to Mijale Uganda and a store was hired.
- A house was hired and it is its last stage of completion. Painting is finished and wiring and installation of solar panels will be finished within the month or first week of May.
- Two staff members were retained on full work and were paid by CRESS. The watchman, and Jackie. All other staff members were temporarily released to go and settle their families in the camps.
The clinic will open in the second week of May but staff will report back to work in the first week of May to find for themselves houses to rent. Liwolo building and beds inside are safe.
Following our glorious success in our pilot projects, 4 women group leaders were training for 30 days in organic farming for groups in Bori, Kinyiba, Sokare and Mangalotore. Mobilization in these places mentioned were done and people were really enthusiastic for the program.
The 3 pilot groups were set for level 2 and have developed bigger plans than we could imagine as they were really motivated with their previous success.
Sadly when the war broke out, all the groups run to Uganda as refugees. Kajokeji town was completely deserted. We could not reorganise the groups for lack of land.
We will put on hold the agriculture until next year. It is a season for relief, resettlement and dealing with deep seated trauma, hatred and anger among the refugees. Until the mind-set and belief system is put into right perspective, all other efforts will be a real waste.
We hold parents meetings and gave out first term fees. We guided parents to make sure a child is taken to school. We are grateful that all Cress sponsored children are in school in Uganda. Most of them are doing very well. As I write this report they are all sitting for first term exams. All schools will break for holidays on 5th May for 3 weeks. Schools in Uganda are expensive. The fees we paid in south Sudan in comparison were low. Parents have lost their job due to the war.
Due to the war quick decision was made to evaluate all CRESS essential office equipment to Arua. This was successfully done by the help of Rev Fred Taban and Samson Soma. Office was secured in Mvara, Arua. The office was set up and running normally. With the support of CRESSUK, we bought solar, battery, inventor, charger controller, cables, valves and other accessories for the installation of the solar power.
This was done successfully. We also bought internet gadget and we have full internet in the office.
The absence of peace, unity and love in our country has thrown us into a deep hole which we do not know how we can get out of. Hatred, bitterness, revenge, tribalism, ethnic targeted killings, murder, destruction, famine, internal displace persons, massive exodus of refugees to Uganda and in the refugees camps being welcome by lack of water, inadequate food, health services, rampant death of children, mothers during labour, old people among others, trauma and lack of education for all school age going children.The situation is deplorable both in the camps and IDPs in Liwolo. More worse with IDPs who are denied food by the government. Bishop Emmanuel Murye and I were engaged in advocating for the safety and welfare of our people by meeting relevant authorities in Uganda and in refugee settlements, all worrying parties in the conflicts (SPLM IN G and SPLM IO) to respect sanctity of life and uphold human rights. We met the top leadership of IO in Yei River state, South Sudan Ambassador for Uganda, Rwanda, Burudi, and Adviser of president on economic planning and finance, Kajokeji Army commander and his team, commissioners of greater Kajo-keji. We did not see much improvement yet in our efforts but in all rebels controlled areas. Civilian are respected and protected and relationships have been built in all these endeavours.
Prayer for the following initiatives that I consider critical not only for now but for the future of south Sudan as a nation and these are supported by the recommendation of the office of prime minister in the settlements that UN and other bodies are concern with resettling and provision of food, water, shelters and health services and education. The church should focus in change the mind-set, belief system of the refugees through provision of hope, and psychosocial support.
There are rampant suicide cases, drug abuse, murder, moral decay throughout the camps. Not only that, we need to uproot, tear down and destroy all deeply seated, bitterness, hatred, unforgiveness, revenge, tribalism, trauma, hopelessness and build and plant seeds and culture of peace. Love, hope, unity, forgiveness and reconciliation through leadership, women, and youth conferences/workshops. Furthermore through our sponsorship scheme we need to make deliberate efforts to identify, developed, mentor, and expose potential leaders for tomorrow who will lead with absolute integrity and uprightness then the true soul and glory of south Sudan shall be restored. This way we have provided a solution so that what has happened now will not repeat itself in the future.
Pray for our local efforts for peace, advocacy for our people that God will indeed protect and show us his favour. Also pray for financial support to meet our travelling cost, accommodation, and feeding.
Pray for IDPs in Liwolo in camps of Logo, Keriwa, and Ajio for their need of food, safety, agriculture tools and seeds.
3 senior staff of the diocese of Kajo-keji and CRESS- Rt Rev Emmanuel Murye, Rev Joseph Aba and Rev Fred Taban were graciously supported by CRESSUK for the rental of their houses in Arua and also with water filters.
Over 27 clergy were given a little support to help them resettle in camps or IDPs and Canon Charles Kenyi were helped with flight ticket and visa to reunite with his family which was cut off in Juba.
CRESS continues to support diocesan staff with education of their children. This is very encouraging. However, leaders are very traumatised and overwhelmed with demands of work and the condition of our people