Humans of South Sudan

Humans of South Sudan

The people you’ll meet in this story have survived the conflict in South Sudan. Now in refugee camps, they’re still in danger from disease and starvation. And there are thousands more like them.

Susan

A woman in a wheelchair outside a shack made out of straw.
Susan's joy is amazing. She lives an isolated life, yet her faith is unwavering.

After driving through shrubbery, we abandon the car and walk for almost an hour. We fight through the grass and branches as we head further away from civilisation. I am about a mile from the border with South Sudan. Surely no-one can be living here.

But I am amazed to find a hut, providing barely any protection from the rain. And inside, a solitary woman. Susan.

Susan has leprosy and her hands are beginning to curl in on themselves. I ask her how she ended up here. “I was chased by the government and the rebels,” she says. “I am not able to walk, so I started crawling. I never made it to the camps.”

Because Susan hasn’t made it to an official settlement to register as a refugee, she’s not eligible for UN food relief. You’ve been providing her with emergency food rations – support that has most likely saved her life.

Click here to watch South Sudan's Conflict Survivors

South Sudan's Conflict Survivors DVD featuring a group of boys high-fiving

You’ve also helped train the pastoral activists who found Susan. “I don’t get many visitors here. The team share the word of God with me, and they pray with me. That is how I get my strength.” As I walk away, I know we’re leaving her lonely, but never alone.

Joice

Family: Mother of four children, including five-month-old twins, Sarah and Sharon.

Location: Bidi Bidi, the world’s largest refugee camp with a quarter of a million South Sudanese refugees.

Condition: Suffered from edema and pre-eclampsia while pregnant with her twins. Untreated, these conditions can be fatal.

How you helped: Joice’s conditions were detected because you paid for a highly accurate blood pressure monitor to be given to a volunteer health worker in Joice’s community. The volunteer found out Joice had dangerously high blood pressure. He kept monitoring her throughout her pregnancy, and at eight months she was given a C-section which was vital for her survival.

What Joice says: “Without this device, I was going to face death. I am giving you thanks. I am now okay, and my children are okay.”

A South Sudanese mother hugs her twins in Uganda

Nancy

Fourteen-year-old Nancy hops up to us at impressive speed, her foot scuffing along ground. Her right foot is twisted and she can’t walk on it. The uneven ground is hard to move across. It’s clear Nancy can’t move far from the temporary home she is living in.

Because of her disability, Nancy couldn’t go to school. “Children would tease me because I’m not able to move,” Nancy says. You’ve helped BMS partner Hope Health Action transport wheelchairs to people like Nancy, and now Nancy can get to school.

“I am very happy with my wheelchair. It can take me anywhere,” says Nancy. “I want to be a nurse.” It’s the most confidently she’s spoken.

A South Sudanese girl in a blue wheel chair in front of a tree in Uganda.

We want the UK Church to be at the forefront of raising awareness of the conflict in South Sudan. You can help. Our 2019 appeal resource South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors is now available to share with friends and to run at your church’s harvest service this year. You can also download this story to share with others or subscribe to Engage to read more about the humans behind the South Sudan crisis. Together we can make sure these incredible conflict survivors are not forgotten.

Inspired to give? Click here
icon

Original article featured in Issue 44 of Engage, the BMS World Mission Magazine. Edited for the website by Melanie Webb.