23 January 2013

Sudan: Tools for the Sudan Project to Bring a New Beginning for Refugees

[St. George's Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia] "..Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day but teach a man to fish and he'll eat for years. Give a boy/man the right tools and there is no stopping him!"

During 2012, the newest country in the world, South Sudan, has faced a border conflict with the Republic of Sudan to the north. The eruption of new fighting earlier in 2012 led to an ongoing migration from the north of upwards of 100,000 people. These new residents are "city-dwellers", many from cities, such as Khartoum. They have few tools to get started in basic agriculture and fishing which employ over 80% of the population. Floods have created additional problems along the border.

Region One of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is sponsoring a project "Tools for the Sudan, Building New Lives" from Feb. 1, 2013 - March 31, 2013 to support these new residents migrating from Sudan to South Sudan.

One of Region One's parishioners, Larry Duffee, from St. George's Episcopal, Fredericksburg, Va., has been a missionary for two years in South Sudan. He has witnessed the joys of the formation of a new nation but also the struggles of a new nation engaged in providing the basic necessities - feeding itself.

"Tools for the Sudan" has both a paper shopping cart and online site with a shopping cart to encourage parishioners to buy the new immigrants tools, both agricultural ( hoes, axes, rakes, machetes) and fishing (nets, lines, hooks). The cost is per tool is minimal - $10 to $15. These funds will be shipped to Larry in Juba who will send the funds to Bentiu in the north along the border into the community of the immigrants. The Bishop and staff there will buy these tools and hopefully send back evidence, such as pictures and receipts.

This way we will have helped the new residents and also brought mission work close to those who provide the donations. We have already received a $2,000 donation from St. Peter's Episcopal, Port Royal, one of the 19 churches in Region One, a $500 from Region One itself.

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