No Easy Win
Sometimes there isn’t an easy win.
That’s the reality of the work that Christian Aid does.
The danger is that the way the world runs, the systems that make people and keep people poor, are so entrenched, so complex and so long-standing, that they become invisible. They become 'just the way the world is'. Like a weed that takes over a rose garden; its roots slowly wrapping themselves around those of the healthy flower until they are indivisible. We can’t separate the blight from the garden and in time we forget what we planted.
So it is in South Sudan where, since 2016 the country has been slipping into an escalating food crisis. In the Northern Bahr el Ghazal, some people are surviving on one meal a day. They have resorted to eating wild foods like water lily roots and pumpkin leaves and drinking unsafe water. Back in February this year, some parts of South Sudan were declared to be in the grip of all out famine with 50% of its entire population affected.
And let's not forget, this new crisis emerges while the country is already entrenched in an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe - three years of conflict that has left tens of thousands of people dead and 3 million more displaced from their homes. Harvests have been disrupted, food and fuel prices have risen and the economy has collapsed amidst reports of human rights abuses that range from sexual assault to executions.
Like I say, sometimes there isn’t an easy win.
What Christian Aid is doing through its partners is arranging for $50 food vouchers to be distributed to the most vulnerable families. These families are almost exclusively headed by single mothers with several children and very few viable options to make money. Each voucher will get the whole family eating 3 meals a day for 30 days.
That’s what the money from our Christmas appeal will do. Save lives in a very real and immediate way.
But we’re not there yet.
All we can do in this moment is get people through another month so that when change does come, they are alive to be a part of it.
And because the appeal is UK Aid matched it means that every pound you give will be doubled by the UK Government. It’s an incredible opportunity to make your donation go further.
It’s hard and it’s depressing but this is what we can do *right now*.
It’s how we don’t give up, it’s what we do to remind ourselves that this world was a garden.
And that it could be again.