Seven weeks ago the CRESS office moved out of Romoggi and to Arua in Uganda where Fred Taban found a three-roomed building and negotiated a good rental price. This has now been paid for the first six months and the office has reopened. There is good internet and some solar power which is great news for our team on the ground.
It may seem very little has happened but getting anything achieved takes much longer than here and never more so during a refugee crisis.
Joseph was sent on a retreat in order to recover from trauma and to work out a plan for CRESS but sickness took its toll which an all too common an event in Africa. He wrote:
“Indeed my retreat was very much disturbed. I schedule to do my retreat in Kampala. I set up my trip on Tuesday 14th, February. I went to Mijale Uganda to pick up my parents who run from Liwolo alone because i could not go to help them out. My brother who is in Australia requested me to take them to Kampala. We slept in Koboko town on Tuesday night and we took off for Kampala the following at 8am. After settling them for two days I decided to go for my retreat on 18th in Anker Kill. Only for 2 days when I was affected sick with malaria and fever then my mother who was very sick more than myself. I have to come and take care of her. I have use part of the money for my transport to and fro, feeding for 2 days in retreat, treatment for myself and my wife before I could go.”
Once he had recovered Joseph was able to purchase in Kampala with CRESS monies – two solar panels, an inverter and a battery. He also purchased water filters for the office and his household, Fred’s and Bishop Emmanuel Murye’s family. It is very important that the main leaders keep well in order to help their people and filtered water is the most basic health need.
Joseph has been selected as Bishop of the new diocese of Liwolo but his enthronement has been put on hold due to the insecurity. Some of his work going forward will involve pastoral work in the refugee camps – he has travelled with Bishop Emmanuel to all the refugee camps where the people of Kajo Keji are living in order to do an assessment. They will produce a report on their findings soon.
One of the people left behind in Romoggi, Kajo Keji was Daniel Batatis – he was an older student at Comboni Secondary School and sponsored by Val Batchelor of Flame International. Although he lives with Joseph Aba due to absence of any funds for food for Daniel he had to be left behind. Val was unable to help as she is already supporting many individuals caught up in the crisis. Daniel wrote;
I’m still in Kajo-Keji, staying at Bishop’s house since all the cooks & watch men had left, then Bishop asked me to stay in the house. Bishop had just left for Juba after having spent a night in Kajo-Keji. Soldiers are breaking into houses regardless of whose house or what kind of an institution, & they could harass any one they come across ,however, looting of people’s property by the government soldiers is the order of the day.”
When I heard that Daniel had been left alone in Romoggi I was able to send some CRESS money to rescue him. He is a wonderful Christian and I am hoping to find some support for him so he can work for the church in trauma support for the refugees from Kajo Keji and live in either Moyo or Arua with a member of the clergy.
Joseph is now in Juba writing:
“I arrived to Juba. It is 80F . The city is quiet, the security is fair but everything is very expensive. a bottle of soda 100 ssp from 3 ssp in 2013. People eats once a day. Very sad.Today I am starting the process of renewal of my passport and then multi entry visa to Uganda, pray that I will succeed as quick as possible. My desire is to meet our diocesan lawyer to see the way forward for CRESS registration with the Republic of south Sudan.”
The whole process will take minimum a week!!
“This clinic will be established in Mijale and operate to help with South Sudanese displace persons who are self settlers around the border of Uganda and South Sudan and the 30,000 internal displace persons in Logo, Andejo and Ajio through out reach programs and medical services, though this required a registration with the government of Uganda. At present premises have not been found to use – Fred Taban and Joel Abate are still looking “
Communication and contact with the team is okay, although I hope you can appreciate from this report daily life is difficult for all. Caroline March
Founder and CEO