Around the world, ADRA is helping families rebuild their lives. Families torn apart by war and extreme poverty are finding the strength to begin again with ADRA's assistance. Families like Regina's.
"I want to be home on my land, but it is not safe to return," says Regina, "My land is a three-hour walk from here. We ran here to this remote place during the war. It was very hard. We foraged the forest for food. When ADRA came, everything got better. Life is still hard. We survived the war. Please continue to help us."
"For years, we feared the soldiers from the North," Regina shares. "They came to destroy everything and to kill. We had nothing to eat. We were always hungry. We lost family members and friends to war and to diseases."
The long years of war in South Sudan made it impossible for families to grow food, closed schools and clinics, and destroyed roads and bridges. ADRA has been working in South Sudan since 1994, and today we are assisting individuals like Regina and others in rebuilding their lives.
This holiday season, as you think about the celebrations you will be attending and the gifts you will be giving, will you sacrifice and send a gift that will allow ADRA to meet the needs of those crying out for hope and mercy?
Budi County is full of natural beauty and continuing insecurity. During the long war, families fled to the hills and mountains and crossed the nearby borders of Uganda and Kenya. People and wildlife are slowly returning to the empty, untamed landscape.
"At first when ADRA found us, they brought a lot of seeds for vegetables," Regina says. "They taught us techniques for growing that we had never heard of or seen before. They brought hoes to work the ground and seeds for maize, groundnuts, and sorghum. Before, we were burning the ground and throwing the seeds down, and we had little harvest. Life changed when ADRA came. Today, we eat two meals every day. We have grains and vegetables. We have less disease and are able to work harder and longer each day."
"The most important thing for a mother is to feed her children," Regina says. "I have eight children, and it takes all of us working together to get through each day. My young daughter and I walk two hours each way twice a day to get water for our family."
"The Didinga have always lived on the land with our animals," Akulina shares. "I appreciate the ADRA way of growing food because nothing is wasted. Even the old plants die down to feed the earth. Last season, we were hungry. Now we are eating, and we have hope."
ADRA is drilling wells throughout South Sudan and will soon be drilling a well where Regina lives, eliminating the need for this hard daily chore. ADRA continues to train teachers and community health workers, open schools and clinics, and provide families with seeds and tools and the training to grow their own food. And yet, it is a drop in the bucket of the vast need.