Why South Sudan?

One of the most frequent questions we get is about the programs we are supporting and funding. What are they? Who runs them? How are they helping women? Why Syria/Iraq, DRC and South Sudan? 

Over the next week, we will be posting some answers to these questions. As always, you are welcome to contact us with any and all questions at info@onemillionthumbprints.org

Click to read about the Syria/Iraq programs

Photo credit Kate Magee/ World Relief

Photo credit Kate Magee/World Relief


SOUTH SUDANWorld Relief programs facilitated in South Sudan.


Agriculture support.

Savings For Life programs.

Health and nutrition.

Education in emergency situations. 


Conflict and war can cause extreme financial instability for families and communities. Women and their families face difficulty finding and growing food since tools and seeds are scarce. When education systems are disrupted by war and displacement, children become vulnerable to exploitation and fall behind in school.


Because war prevents farmers from heading to the fields to care for their crops, many South Sudanese are at great risk for disease and malnutrition. World Relief equips women with the tools and training they need to grow and harvest nutritious, high quality crops that will help them bring their families through seasons of scarcity. 

World Relief’s Savings for Life groups are designed to create pathways to economic opportunity. A vast majority of the participants and leaders are women. In regular meetings, groups of 10-25 members save, lend and borrow small amounts of money over the course of several months. They gradually empower one another to start businesses, make essential home repairs or invest in new farming tools or livestock. In close community, women find the purchasing power to cover medical insurance, regularly feed their children protein-rich meals and pay their school tuition.

World Relief works closely with community organizations, local churches and volunteer networks to confront health and nutrition issues. Through mobile health clinics, World Relief is able to reach isolated communities impacted by violence. Often, this includes those displaced by conflict. World Relief is increasing access to emergency nutrition resources and quality treatment for severely malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women. 

World Relief is protecting school-aged children and the places where they go to learn. By training teachers in lesson planning and teaching strategies and empowering parents to be a part of their children’s education, South Sudanese students have opportunity to succeed and grow during conflict. 


The "why" is always anchored in the story and face of an individual, a family. When we only talk about numbers and statistics or theoretical and philosophical reasoning, we miss the point of it all.

As the tall maize grows in her fenced-in yard in South Sudan, Rebecca prepares cornmeal while her elderly mother and four youngest children play alongside. Thankful for this harvest and the food it provides her large family, she contemplates what the next few months might bring, especially in light of the major food crisis in her country.

Rebecca is a farmer, trained by an agricultural expert from World Relief. Proudly pointing to her crops, she explains that because the rains had been good, she expects a better crop than last year, but this came at a hard price. One January, Rebecca had seven cows, but the fighting from the country’s civil war closed off the markets, and the food supply was low from last season’s drought. She’d sold a cow to get bags of maize as starter seeds, but as the months of fighting went on, more was needed. As a widow and sole breadwinner for her family of 9, she had to risk the 16-hour walk once a month to trade a cow for food to feed her family. February, March, April, May, and June dragged by and before she knew it, she had only one cow left. Rebecca hoped her harvest would come quickly.

“And then the raindrops started,” Rebecca said. The rains that nourished the crops would guarantee a good late-summer harvest. At the same time, the World Food Program distributed a corn and soy bean blend to the most vulnerable in the county to stave off hunger until the harvest.

This harvest and the food supplies should feed Rebecca’s family until the next January. In a continued effort to fight the food shortage, World Relief will also distribute vegetable seeds (groundnuts, eggplant, sesame, tomatoes), to people displaced by the conflict which will provide a nutritional supplement during the winter months. But with ongoing fighting and what the UN describes as the ‘worst food crisis in the world’, significant challenges remain for Rebecca, her family, and millions of others in South Sudan. Even though Rebecca isn’t sure what the outcome will be, her faith gives her hope, “Everything is in God’s hands,” she says.

JOIN US as we seek to fund more programs likes these, programs that ensure survival, promote stability and eventually provide sustainable development for the displaced. 

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