Signs of hope in South Sudan

Abouk Dut has a lot to worry about. She is homeless, living under a small plastic tarp and, when I met her, she was standing in line for food rations. When it rains, no one can sleep, as their small shelter floods. The plastic tarp her family uses is more than most have received, and there are thousands that have not yet been registered for food rations.

She is 100 miles from her home in Abyei, with no guarantee that she can go back.

Abouk is smiling because, despite all she has left behind in Abyei, she is hopeful about the future in South Sudan.

But, when we talked, her face was lit with hope. She rejoices that she escaped Abyei, and that most of her family is with her. “Many people lost their family in the bush, and have never reunited,” she said.

Even more, she is hopeful for the future. In just under two weeks, on July 9, South Sudan will gain independence, and Abouk is excited about the changes to come.

“The people here in the South have welcomed those of us from Abyei. They sympathize with our plight and support us.” Abouk predicts the new country will be a better place to live, with police to protect civilians and reduce crime, more protection for women, and a chance to return home. “The South Sudan government will pay attention to the people of Abyei, and help us go home. We are excited to be a part of this new nation.”

Amidst the stories of loss and suffering coming out of South Sudan, we’re hearing words of hope like this. Providing food and basic of necessities is bringing hope to displaced people there. Though they have left everything behind, and have no idea what’s ahead, many like Abouk are holding onto hope for a better future in the world’s newest nation.

World Concern is working on solutions beyond food, including constructing temporary schools for the more than 4,000 new students in the area. We’re also gathering resources to provide housing and cooking supplies for people like Abouk and her family.

Learn more about how we’re helping at www.worldconcern.org/feedsudan

Published by


Chris Sheach is World Concern's Deputy Director of Disaster Response.