CRESS has a good track record in its work but after founder and CEO Caroline Lamb visited in September she feels like we are starting again. CRESS chooses to see this as starting afresh by getting a new, fit team together.
The challenges are enormous: there are no schools, no government, no health structure and a total absence of transport and infrastructure. It can take three to five hours of agonising travel on what can hardly be called a road just to have a vital conversation.
During the recent trip Caroline explains “we could not even touch the local water, much less drink it… water filters are a necessity as are Hepatitis B vaccinations to counter the contaminated water that is an inevitable part of daily life.”
The church is the only functioning structure there is. This is not about theology; it is about a network based on the identity of the people and it is the glue that holds their society together. CRESS is right there with them. We have access that no-one else has – not the UN, not the UK government, no-one. We’re not better than anyone else, we’re just with them because we’ve known them since before it all went wrong for them. CRESS is the vehicle for relief and education, but the fuel and the spare parts are the wonderful people of South Sudan with whom we have developed a special relationship.
Our top three priorities are:
• To continue the children’s education,
• To run the clinic,
• under Bishop Joseph Aba.
When that is done, then to focus on our projects of agriculture, women’s empowerment with hygiene kits and workshops.