As Martin Luther King said, “War is the greatest plague that can afflict humanity; it destroys states [and] families”. This can be seen in the case of the nation of South Sudan, a nation that has been in turmoil since its formation. In 2013, a political conflict erupted between the President and his former Vice-President, which quickly escalated into an ethnic crisis that led to the death of tens of thousands of people with millions displaced.
Those displaced by the crisis moved to camps which rapidly became overpopulated: one of such Camps is the Magaten Camp in Juba, South Sudan. Like other camps, the Magaten Camp faces limited supply of medicare, clean water and the education of the children has been drastically affected as the camp has a few makeshift schools ill-equipped to cater to the large number of children. According to reports, South Sudan has reached the most extreme levels of food insecurity since its independence in 2011. Families are desperate for food. One can only imagine the sufferings of the vulnerable people living in IDP camps who rely on goodwill for survival.
Executing its mission to reach the needy and vulnerable, affected by natural or man-made crisis, the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI) delegation, made up of its member agencies – the InnerCity Mission for Children; Volunteer Medical corps; Bible for all Missions; and the Humanitarian Volunteer Network — all embarked on Mission South Sudan to deliver God’s Word, food security, education, medical services, clean water kits, psychosocial support, distribution of hygiene kits and more to those affected by the crisis in the country, particularly those living in Magaten Internally displaced Persons Camp.
On arrival, the team was warmly welcomed by the Pastors and Partners in South Sudan. Immediately, a trip was made to the Magaten Internally Displaced Persons [IDP] camp for a stakeholders’ engagement meeting with the Camp officials and to conduct a pre-project inspection. Shortly after, the COFI Truck which bore all the intervention supplies arrived South Sudan, all the way from Uganda, and the volunteers on ground helped sort them for easy distribution the following day, May 13th.
The day ushered a new dawn for all the beneficiaries as they received the multifaceted intervention of the COFI, all thanks to the man of God, Pastor Chris. Free medical supplies were dispensed, screening and treatment were made available to hundreds of poor, displaced families; also, an emergency response training was conducted for South Sudanese Traffic Police, and each officer received a free copy of the Rhapsody of Realities study bible. Food Items were packaged for each household, while mosquito nets were given to mothers with children to prevent malaria.
The ultimate of all was the call for salvation. Several beneficiaries (men, women and even children) answered this life-changing call as the Team Leader for the COFI delegation to South Sudan, the highly esteemed Pastor Omoh Alabi, led them to Christ. Afterwards, each one received a free copy of the Rhapsody of Realities Study Bible. The entire event was captured by the South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC) and Daily Mirror Newspaper.
Moved by the remarkable gesture of love, the Camp officials publicly acknowledged that, so far ,this is the biggest support (both in food and non-food items) ever received from a government, private sector or non-governmental organization. The visit to Mageten IDP camp, opened a door of ministry, as officials have accepted our proposal to start a Christ Embassy Church in the camp, to reach the thousands of displaced persons currently residing there.
It was such an eventful day, that some interventions like the Back-to-School kit distribution were moved to the next day. Also, while in the country, the delegation would hold high level multi-stakeholder engagements to precede its mid to long term sustainable projects and interventions. Details on these events would be shared shortly.