The sadness of families in war-torn South Sudan
The exposure to gross poverty, disease and death that devastates poor communities in Africa, is never easy for our programmes team. Many of them have trouble sleeping after a long day of visiting and interacting with the people in these communities.
One of the country’s that has been struggling with a number of debilitating socio-economic issues is South Sudan where the recent spate of conflicts have hindered many developmental processes and efforts.
During the most recent field visit to South Sudan, the JAM team encountered many elderly, homeless women who have experienced unspeakable suffering and heartache. One of them is 69-year-old Ayen Kur, who lost her husband after their village was attacked and he was unable to escape due to his age. Sadly, her son was also killed while trying to protect his cattle.
As if the pain of losing her husband and son was not enough, Ayen told us that two of her grandchildren died of starvation, while her daughter-in-law was also killed, together with her infant baby.
Ayen is doing her best to raise and provide for her three grandchildren with nothing but an inadequate roof over their head. When we approached the eldest girl about having lost most of their family in the conflict, she could not stop crying long enough to share her experience.
Were it not for her grandchildren, Ayen says she would be ready to die. JAM’s Group CEO and Founder, Peter Pretorius, immediately committed to have a house built for them so they will at least have a place they can call home.
“There is too much injustice, sadness and devastation in the world and I am dedicated to continue doing all that we can do to uplift those that are in need,” said Peter. “Let’s not ignore what is happening in our world, we all have the power to help.”
If you would like to help us make a difference in the lives of women like Ayen, please see how you can Get Involved.