Support the Café
Search our site

Feeding South Sudan

Feeding South Sudan

Bishop Joseph Garang Atem of the Diocese of Renk in South Sudan spoke at the convention of the Diocese of Chicago, which has a companion diocese relationship with Renk. Bishop Garang is among those wrestling with how to feed, house and provide medical care for tens of thousands of homeless people fleeing religious persecution and ethnic and political violence.


An excerpt of an interview with him found on the Diocese of Chicago website:

“In the rainy season it is very tough,” Garang said. “We need things to take care of people’s immediate needs: food security and health care, but also to take care of them long term, so fuel and building materials. But it is hard to get these things into the country and it can take a long time.”

And so he travels, seeking emergency assistance, resources and relationships that can help build South Sudan’s economy. “You want to meet the needs of those who are in need,” he says. “So my role is to connect the people who are in need to the people who have resources for the development of human beings. We must train many, many different people so they can take on much work for the development of the diocese and the development of the country.” In a lunchtime talk in Chicago, Garang told convention goers that South Sudan was not without economic resources, but that people were not yet able to make use of them. “There is lots of good land, but little knowledge of how to use it well,” he told the gathering convened by the diocese’s Commission on Global Ministry.

“Traditional means of agriculture don’t work as well as we need, so we need a scientific approach. We can grow food, but also, we have sunflower and sesame, and these would create jobs in the refineries making the oil. This would bring a good generation of income for the government.”

The agricultural potential of his own diocese is a subject particularly close to his heart. “Renk is one of the best areas in South Sudan for agriculture,” the bishop said in an interview after the lunch. “It could feed all Sudan if this were done in a good way. … If there were irrigation for a whole year we would be self-sustainable, and feed maybe all Africa, not just South Sudan.”

The next step, Garang said, is to begin building villages and other infrastructure so people can be moved from camps into permanent housing, and, eventually, jobs. However, this work is almost impossible with the border blockaded, fuel and building materials scarce and refugees and returnees straggling in from Sudan.

Dislike (0)
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinmail

Café Comments?

Our comment policy requires that you use your real first and last names and provide an email address (your email will not be published). Comments that use non-PG rated language, include personal attacks, that are not provable as fact or that we deem in any way to be counter to our mission of fostering respectful dialogue will not be posted.

Facebooktwitterrss
Support the Café
Past Posts
2020_001

The Episcopal Café seeks to be an independent voice, reporting and reflecting on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican tradition.  The Café is not a platform of advocacy, but it does aim to tell the story of the church from the perspective of Progressive Christianity.  Our collective sympathy, as the Café, lies with the project of widening the circle of inclusion within the church and empowering all the baptized for the role to which they have been called as followers of Christ.

The opinions expressed at the Café are those of individual contributors, and, unless otherwise noted, should not be interpreted as official statements of a parish, diocese or other organization. The art and articles that appear here remain the property of their creators.

All Content  © 2017 Episcopal Café