An overview of 2014 and 2015 work in South Sudan
Tragically, a pointless and very bloody internal conflict erupted in December 2013. Once again, many of the people of South Sudan began to endure the agony of death, displacement, hunger and fear. We cannot deny that what happened on December 15, 2013, tragically affected our Solidarity work in Malakal. Our house and Teaching College in Malakal were looted and damaged but not to the point of total loss. What will become of our commitment there remains to be seen. For the time being instability in the region has dispersed the population and we can only move slowly to re-establish our presence.
The situation in 2014 required us to look at the new reality, civil war, and to discern how to respond. Notwithstanding the senseless conflict in parts of the country, morale among our members has remained very high and the delivery of service has continued very productively. The Pastoral team have successfully delivered the programmes planned for 2014 but have also taken on a very significant new raft of services in terms of trauma healing and assisting priests and religious to return to their various ministries. This has been made possible by generous donations in addition to the planned budget. One of our priests has been living in the UN camp at Malakal ministering to the needs of the people in between the delivery of various programmes.
During 2014 and 2015, we have actively engaged with other agencies in a UNICEF-sponsored emergency project to bring primary Education the children in the areas of conflict. There are confirmed reports, however, of children as young as 12 being conscripted into the military. The main work of Solidarity continues to be capacity building in Wau at the Catholic Health Training Institute, the Yambio Teacher Training College, the agriculture project in Riimenze and Pastoral work out of Juba. While the Malakal campus has remained inoperable, the Yambio campus has now grown to its originally planned capacity of four full-time streams.