This is why we are currently desperately trying to raise money for our school lunch program. People are currently dying of starvation, disproportionately women and children, and we can help.
Today we sent approximately AU$1500 to South Sudan to feed almost 450 students at Waramoth Primary lunch each day for the month of July. These meals are lifesaving for students and their families. Many families in South Sudan are currently in a very tenuous situation, with some choosing to flee to Khartoum in the north with the hope that they will find food there. Timpir is in a position to work with communities to reduce the disastrous effects of famine, but we desperately need the support of donors. Please consider donating to help us run this important program.
Thanks so much to all those who have donated to Timpir’s school lunch program so far. We have raised enough to run the program for one month in the two schools, it would be great if we could raise enough for another two months. This would see the children through to when crops and food becomes more available in September. Please go to the donation page for details on donating and know that every cent of your donation is spent on the ground in South Sudan.
One of Timpir’s board members, Tash Elsley’s lecturer is currently volunteering with MSF in South Sudan. The situation in parts of South Sudan is dire. The communities in Northern Bahr el Ghazal which Timpir supports are fortunately currently not being directly impacted on, but our thoughts are with the more than 1.5 million displaced, and all those who are being affected by the current conflict.
The Timpir newsletter for June has been released, see it here.
In addition, Timpir has just started running a lunch program at our two schools. South Sudan is on the brink of a massive famine. This report released in March this year highlights the impending famine, and the situation has only got worse since that time.
With bad crops in 2011, food supply in the region at very low levels due to border closures, and the escalating costs of food, many people in regional areas, such as Wäramoth and Mabok are starving. Timpir is assisting as best it can, and will employ cooks at the two schools to prepare cooked lunches for more than 700 students currently enrolled across the two schools.
This lunch program will mean that each day Timpir’s students have at least one meal, and this will also enable their families to spread their meagre food supplies across their remaining children. It is planned that we will carry out this lunch program during the months of June to August, as by September the rains will hopefully have brought a supply of fresh fruits and vegetables to the area which will sustain families until their crops are ready in October/November.
The Timpir board in collaboration with the teachers at the 2 Primary schools have estimated that to feed the 700+ students for these three months will cost over $6000. If you are able to assist Timpir with this essential project please donate at
In South Sudan there are stories of people and families that show the desperation and hardships of life. The story of Mel Magol’s family is one of these.
I had been conducting registrations for students at Wäramoth Primary School for approximately a week when one late afternoon, while I was sitting outside my tent, a lady and her two young sons came to see us. All three family members looked emaciated, as if they had just been released from a Nazi concentration camp. I was shocked, while everyone in South Sudan is thin, this family was starved.
The mother, whose name is Aliok, told me that she had walked for over two hours with her two sons because she wanted to register them for the school. I asked why she did not want them to attend a school closer to their home. She then explained that their home is actually in Wäramoth and they intend to return to live in Wäramoth, but they have not been able to re-construct their home there since returning to South Sudan in 2007. We started talking, with the help of Kuol’s translation, and this is her story.
Aliok fled to Khartoum, in the north of Sudan, with her mother, father and siblings during the 20 year long civil war. While she was there, she met and married her husband, Mel Magol. Mel had been a soldier fighting for the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA), the rebel faction fighting for the people of South Sudan. After several years of fighting, Mel had decided to go and live in Khartoum where he met Aliok. Over the next 16 years they had four children, two girls and two boys.
In 2007, Mel decided to take his family home to their village in Wäramoth , South Sudan, as there was now peace. They returned in February 2007, a very difficult time of the year for the agarian people of Wäramoth . Most of their food supplies have finished, and they are desperately waiting for the rains to begin in June. Mel and his family had nothing to bring with them from Khartoum to re-start their lives in South Sudan, so they started with nothing.
Mel worked tirelessly for the next few months clearing land that had over-grown during the war for his family to sew their crops of sorghum when the rains came and starting to rebuild their house. He built a strong base for one house out of bricks that he made himself. While he was working, the family was getting thinner and thinner as there was nothing to eat. The children were getting sick. Mel eventually decided in about May that he would have to return to Khartoum to try and find work so that he could send money for his wife and children to buy food. He started the long journey back to Khartoum, but along the way, his emaciated body was overcome with sickness and he died.
This left Aliok to look after their four children alone. In Dinka culture, the brother of the husband must take care of the wife, so Aliok moved to live with Mel’s younger brother. However, Mel’s younger brother had his own family and had only recently returned to live in the South himself. There was a permanant shortage of food for everyone in the two families.
When we met Aliok and her children in February 2008, they had been suffering terribly for a year. While Aliok wanted to return to the house that her husband had started building in Wäramoth, she didn’t have any men that could complete the building of the house and finish clearing her land so that crops could be sewn.
Timpir gave Aliok and her family a
female goat through the Christmas gift program, to begin their herd. Additionally we gave them a male goat which Aliok will kill and cook as ‘payment’ for local men to come and finish building her house and clearing her land in time for cultivation in June. They will need all the help that Timpir can give them for many years to come.