It’s uncertain what affect COVID-19 will have in Sudan and South Sudan. Predictions are grim. Like many impoverished places tests and testing locations (let alone medical care or clinics) are simply not available…. or, are poorly equipped. Sadly, death by “unknown diseases” is the number two reason for why the children we now protect have been orphaned. War and violence is the number one.
As of today, South Sudan has been named COVID-19 free. Whereas one case has been identified in Khartoum, Sudan (nearly 500 miles away from Our Father’s Cleft in the Nuba Mountains).
Yesterday, the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, banned social gatherings and issued travel bans. “The president called on the general public to maintain personal hygiene, to stop shaking hands and to practice social distancing at their place of work, noting confirmed cases of the virus have been identified in neighboring Kenya and Sudan.”
Cancellation of flights from South Sudan to countries affected by coronavirus have also gone into effect. This past Sunday, this alert led to a harrowing journey for Eugenio and Bryan Pride, the agriculturalist from Rise Against Hunger, as they were forced to abort their time strategizing a plan for food independence at HFSS to make sure they could get out of the country before the doors closed to their travel.
Eugenio shared that Bryan, Peter Lomago (indigenous director at HFSS) and he headed into the nearby town on Sunday (about 4 miles from the orphanage). “As we were seated sipping our cold sodas the large TV screens at the hotel were streaming in numbers of the confirmed coronavirus cases in different parts of the world. At the same it was announced the countries in East Africa were closing border movements in order to control any new infections. It is at this point we realized how the virus was affecting our activity. Bryan and I had to leave to avoid being locked up in South Sudan. Word was going round that the South Sudan government would close the borders and flights any time. With not much time left we had to do something…”
Lift Up the Vulnerable’s anti-human trafficking network is taking prevention precautions now on the areas of the pandemic that we are able to control: increasing education, personal hygiene practices, cleaning of high-traffic areas, social distancing, and restricting visitors or non-essential personnel to our compounds. We are closely following the CDC’s recommendations and especially their considerations for group homes. We also are making plans now for isolation areas and treatment steps should the coronavirus affect our staff or children.
At the same time we are watching and seeking solutions for how to best navigate restricted country-to-country movements and border closings. These safety measures will also leave the vulnerable ever-vulnerable and without access to food and medical resources which are chiefly imported in from surrounding countries. The effects of restricted movements will soon be felt during the last few months of dry season when imports are at their highest. Eugenio and I are strategizing now with our leaders on the ground for the way forward on how to best support the children and elderly under our care. Please join us in prayer.
What can you do today?
1. Please share this post on social media
2. Send a message of support and solidarity to our partners and the children: firstname.lastname@example.org
3. If you can, please donate to support our programs, which continue to operate during the difficult times: donate here
We’ll be posting helpful articles and more regular updates on our social media sites. Connect with LUV on the social links below.
Please know that our board, staff, indigenous partners, the children, and the communities we serve in are also praying for you and your families during this time. If I can support or pray for you in any way, please let me know.
With so much love and many prayers,
Chief Executive Officer
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of Love and of self control. 2 Timothy 1:7