Chinnor Community Church, High Street, Chinnor, OX39 4DH

Tearfund September Update


Taking a walk on the wild side-
It’s the lean season in South Sudan

And that means for people living in areas like Warawar in Aweil, finding food can become a walk on the wild side. Trees in the bush can be the only food source for people who have consumed last year’s crops and are waiting for the next harvest to be ready. The months between June and September are particularly tricky for vulnerable mums like Adthel Ayuel, who looks after five children. Before Tearfund’s help, Adthel was struggling to feed them. Her only source of income was from collecting and selling firewood, and fetching water for a restaurant, but that wasn’t enough to cope with the rising prices of staple foods. Last year life became harder when her crops failed and Adthel’s harvest was smaller than usual.

‘I became hopeless,’ said Adthel. ‘I was feeding the children one meal a day when the business was good and I could get money to buy food. But sometimes we would go without meals. As the struggles continued, my youngest child became sick. When I went to the hospital, they told me that he would need to be admitted because his condition was bad.’ The problem was malnutrition but Tearfund provided the answer through our food assistance programme, which is supporting 370 vulnerable families in this area. Adthel was given a voucher that she could exchange for food from traders.

‘Now my family and I are able to eat at least two meals a day and we don’t rely on the [bush] trees for our food. My child is also well and does not fall sick all the time like before. My other children are also happy because I can care for them, and they can spend more time with their little brother than before when we were admitted at the feeding centre. The planting season is now with us. I’m happy that with Tearfund’s support I now have the energy to cultivate my garden so that after the next harvest I will have something to depend on.’

Florence Mawanda, Tearfund’s Country Director for South Sudan, said, ‘We know that continued food assistance is critical during the lean season as without it the 370 families that Tearfund has supported may miss the opportunity for cultivation. Children can quickly relapse back into hunger and malnutrition-related illness.’

  • Please pray the crops of Adthel and others generate a good harvest for the coming year.
  • Lift up to the Lord those facing hunger during the lean season in South Sudan.
  • Pray for peace between South Sudan’s warring factions so stability can return to this impoverished country.

When loving your neighbour means leaving your home

A heart for helping people led farming expert Dickson Gray to leave his home in the Solomon Islands to go and assist cyclone recovery work in neighbouring Vanuatu. Nearly six months ago, Cyclone Pam inflicted high winds and flooding on the South Pacific nation’s 22 islands. In all, 166,000 residents were affected and 15,000 homes were destroyed or damaged. Tearfund responded in the immediate aftermath by distributing 36 tons of food and hundreds of shelter kits and tools for home rebuilding. Now we’re helping islanders become more resilient to these kind of disasters – for example, by helping with the replanting of food and cash crops, repairing water sources and improving understanding of good hygiene.

Dickson is working for Tearfund New Zealand’s partner Nasi Tuan on the island of Tanna. His wife and children have come with him. ‘I didn’t hesitate to offer my assistance,’ said Dickson. ‘My Christian faith challenges me to help others, so I have accepted this call from God. ‘I know how much devastation a cyclone can cause and how difficult things can get following a disaster. Last year I helped my community in the Solomon Islands to recover their crops following the flash floods there. ‘Because of my experience in agricultural recovery, I really thought I could help Nasi Tuan. Now that I’m here I see how much difference Nasi Tuan is making in people’s lives. Communities are now approaching the future with more optimism. They see that they can rebuild their lives.’

  • Praise God that Tearfund’s support is enabling thousands of people on Vanuatu to grow food after the storm destroyed cash crops.
  • Pray that Nasi Tuan’s work will lead to a strong recovery of farming-based livelihoods, which in turn will fund further repairs and improvements.

Helping cook up a secure future

Nepal earthquake survivor Damodar Subedi is getting back on his feet after receiving food, blankets, kitchen utensils, shelter materials and a hygiene kit from Tearfund. The April disaster brought Damodar’s working life crashing down. The quake, which killed more than 8,000 people, destroyed or damaged many schools which he relied upon as customers for his small catering business. Their closure meant his income evaporated overnight. Emergency aid distributions from our partner United Mission to Nepal kept Damodar going and are bridging the gap as he works out how he can rebuild his canteen business. The good news is many undamaged schools have reopened after the quake and reconstruction work is underway at others, so the prospects for Damodar, his wife and three children are good.

Tearfund is also helping kids get back to classes by building temporary learning centres in Tistung and Agra.

  • Please pray for the continuing recovery efforts in Nepal, and for people like Damodar as they make plans to start the next phase of rebuilding their lives.
  • Pray for energy, wisdom and perseverance for our partners as they move from the emergency phase to longer-term rehabilitation work.

John GravettTearfund Representative

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