“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8 & 9
So many of you have inquired about our Dinka family in South Sudan after hearing the horrific news concerning the ruling parties in the capital city. Thank you for caring about our brethren living in this troubled nation. While military battles rage and bodies of soldiers, civilians, and aid workers lie lifeless in the streets of Juba after several days of fighting, village life continues as it always does in Akot, South Sudan. “Women of Hope,” as they call themselves, know that their children are more likely to die of malnutrition and disease than anything else that threatens them. In spite of the overwhelming responsibilities for women in South Sudan, such as fetching water, gathering firewood, cooking, growing food, caring for children and elderly, these women make the time to attend classes 4 days a week. They are learning to sew at a school provided by Living Water Community Transformation (known as Akot Christian Ministries in South Sudan). Their motivation is to someday start a small business which will enable them to purchase life saving medicine and food for their families during the times of food shortage.
Food shortage occurs every year at this time in South Sudan. July is known as “the month of hunger.” Food grown in their family garden and stored in their tukels (mud hut homes) runs out, or is destroyed by pests before the harvest is ready in late September. LWCT is working hard to solve this cyclic problem through our agriculture projects. A newly installed irrigation system and effective food storage will help this in the future. However, according to the World Food Program, this year is the worst food shortage in history, due to the civil war that began in December 2013. Many people have been displaced to refugee camps and are unable to grow food in their family garden. Violence has hindered the import of food from neighboring countries. The little food that is available is very expensive.
Life is very difficult for our Dinka brethren. It is even more difficult for the women, as historically they have been very marginalized. Of our nearly 700 ladies involved in our Women’s discipleship groups, only one can read and write. Women have not been educated in the past. LWCT is working hard to change the female literacy problem also. One third of the students in our two Christian primary schools are female. Through several years of training in Bible, health education, water pump repair, gardening and sewing, the status of women in our community has noticeably increased.
The ladies in our sewing schools are highly motivated and treasure the opportunity to make a better life for their children. After the students have mastered the sewing curriculum, which takes approximately six months, they are given a sewing machine for graduation. Several have started small businesses of tailoring for payment with money or with food.
A huge challenge for the ladies attending the sewing school is that we have no building. The machines are stored in a safari style tent. The ladies pull them out each day to sew where ever they can find shade or shelter when it is raining. The climate in this area consists of rain for six months and drought for six months.
Living Water CT is currently raising funds to construct a building to house the sewing school. If you can help us with any size gift, it will be a blessing for these women.
You can make your donation by check or credit card by going online to our website.
Mailing address and website are listed below.
Yin ca leec (Dinka for thank you)
Nhialic abi thiei (Dinka for God bless you),
Mama Ayen (Ann Rao)