Maneuvering through the rough terrain and tall sharp peaks in the Nuba Mountains in Sudan is one of the most difficult things to do whether by walking or driving. The terrain is rocky with huge boulders, while the bends are full of snow white sand. In the dry seasons (7 months of the year) the intense sunlight scorches the land within a few days.
The rainy seasons (the remaining five months) come with equal challenges. In a country where there are no roads; it becomes literally impossible to move from one point to another. The mountains collect the rainwater and direct it downward; clearing everything along its path and depositing it in the valley.
It can take days or even weeks to travel a distance of 100 miles. Yet, while the rain waters flow fast the grass starts sprouting and within a short time everything turns to a beautiful lush green.
Since Our Father’s Cleft was started in 2012 we have been sending food supplies from east Africa. This is partly because it has been impossible to do any meaningful farming in Nuba Mountains due to war. It takes almost 30 days for a truck loaded with supplies to travel from the east African countries of Kenya and Uganda to the Nuba Mountains. The costs of transport can sometimes be as much as the food itself.
The current change of government in Sudan has brought relative peace in the Nuba Mountains. Several high ranking government and UN officials have visited for the first time in 10 years.
This has restored hope that peace is coming soon and Ezekiel Ayub (indigenous director of OFC) and his team are preparing to take advantage of the restoration of peace as they continue to sow seeds of love.
One of the ways will be through farming so that the orphanage can begin producing their own food and take steps toward food-independence.
Ezekiel wants to incorporate all the staff and children in the farming activities where the students will not only help in food production but will learn about agriculture as they work on the farm. OFC has a large 7-9 acre plot of idle land which has now been earmarked for this activity beginning at the start of the rainy season in May 2020.
The staff and children have already set some time every week to clear the bushes so that the land will be ready for the planting season. Ezekiel’s aim is to not only produce food for the orphans but also have enough to sell in the market so as to subsidize some of his operational costs and begin a path towards self-sustainability.
After a wonderful visit to Our Father’s Cleft in February, I am currently at Hope For South Sudan working with Peter Lomago (HFSS indigenous director) and his team. We are also hosting a special visitor from Rise Against Hunger. Bryan Pride, an agriculturalist from RAH, is training and helping our farm team on the ground evaluate and craft a strategic plan toward increasing food growth for our children and agricultural commerce to sell in the local market and beyond. Like, OFC, they are also taking practical steps toward food-independence! What exciting times!
HFSS has a large capacity for development and the potential to impact our entire anti-trafficking network. We have 400 acres of land allotted for agriculture with only about 20 acres currently cultivated. With the right supports to equip and mobilize our indigenous partners, we have a powerful opportunity before us to deepen farming skills, take strategic and incremental steps toward food-independence, and support local training projects that empower even more children and widows in the larger community in agribusiness opportunities.
By providing nutritious food and agriculture training we are able to offer prevention from trafficking for those with little to no other options, strengthen bodies and minds, and share God’s love with the most vulnerable.
Your investment of LUV today will help us sow seeds of LUV and actualize these exciting programs to lift up the most vulnerable in Sudan and South Sudan!
Partners in Christ,
Chief Program Officer