HomeLetters From South SudanThree Spoons and Food Program

Three Spoons and Food Program

Displaced woman and children inside UN base in South SudanMike Bassano 12 April 2015

One day, Hadia, a seven year old girl, invited me to her small tent house in the United Nations camp for Displaced People in Malakal, South Sudan. She wanted me to meet her mother, Sarah, as well as her younger brother. Hadia’s father died in the fighting that began in December 2013 causing many people to be displaced from their homes and to come and live in the camp. As I entered her tent which has just the basic necessities of two beds and some chairs, she asked me to sit down and to eat some food which her mother had prepared. Hadia also invited her friend Lucy Maluch to join us. Her mother placed before us three spoons in a bowl with what looked like pudding inside of it. Each of us were then asked to take our spoon and begin eating.
When we finished, I still wondered what we had just eaten. Her mother told me “food program”. Knowing that I did not understand what she was saying, Sarah went and picked up a package under the bed and showed it to me. It was one of the rations given to each family for food and the package was the United Nations World Food Program Cereal Mix.
With the little food they had, Hadia and her family shared it with us. What generous love was shown to us that day.
Mike Bassano