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December 15, 2020
Dear friend of Sudan Sunrise,
“There is no war, and there is no peace,” Khalid Abbas, the President of Kush State University, said to me last week. The Bashir regime fell last year, and since then, Khartoum has not launched any attacks on the people of the Nuba Mountains. But last month, the transitional government of Sudan refused Nuba demands for religious freedom and the right of self-determination. Will the peace hold? No one knows.
With the added challenge of COVID, this uncertain future has prevented any improvement in the economy. Food is still scarce and expensive. It is worse in South Sudan where officials describe one county as being in “likely famine.” A recent estimate classifies 30% of the children of South Sudan as malnourished.
Kush State University: The beautiful Nuba girl pictured here has bleached hair from protein deficiency. To her left is Sulafa, who is finishing her nurse’s training at Kush State University. Click this photo to hear Sulafa explain how KSU has empowered her to improve her community’s health. Sulafa has so distinguished herself in her studies that KSU may hire her as a teaching assistant! She is one of 196 nursing students, in addition to the 75 students studying auto mechanics. KSU plans to add a program in 2021 to train primary and secondary teachers.
In October, the UN convened a workshop near KSU where international participants brainstormed on working through this fledgling university on educational and developmental projects in the region. For the past four years, Sudan Sunrise has been the sole source of funding to establish and grow Kush State University. This next year could bring the breakthrough with other international players helping KSU succeed.
The Manute Bol School and the Future Generation School in South Sudan: This week we were able to send support to both of these schools in South Sudan. These schools are on partial lockdown because of COVID. The funds just sent will pay teachers and will fund the free school lunch programs which are operating at a fraction of their pre-pandemic capacity. Click the photo to the right to hear Pastor Paul Nak describe how the Future Generation School in Rumbek, South Sudan has been feeding orphans.
The Moringa project has now planted two million seeds. Tia Alumda Tia (the Director of Kulurbu, a Sudanese non-profit with whom we are working ) is currently distributing another million seeds around Juba. Moringa trees, sometimes called the Tree of Life, have leaves filled with vitamins, minerals, and even protein.
This week 150 5th graders at Sycolin Creek Elementary School in Leesburg, Virginia, are scheduled for a Zoom call with Lost Girl Rebecca Deng (author of What They Meant for Evil). The 5th graders are raising funds for a Moringa project, which we believe will be in Rebecca’s home state. This initiative could have a reconciliation component, helping the rival ethnic group under whom Rebecca and her family suffered. Long after these fifth graders have fifth graders of their own, these trees will be helping save the lives of children and adults in South Sudan.
Bishop Abraham Nhial has recovered from COVID, but he has a bad case of the ‘flu right now. He is back in Aweil, inspiring members of his Diocese to show that they are followers of the Prince of Peace by forgiving and serving others. His current priorities are to finish St. Mary’s Girls School (plastering the walls and adding poured concrete floors to the classrooms) and to expand St. Joseph’s Boys School (which needs more classrooms). I commend to you the movie, The Good Lie, in which the inspiring character, Jeremiah, is based on Abraham Nhial.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a happy New Year to all.
May God’s peace and loving-kindness fill your heart and home throughout this holiday season!
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