Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hello! Thanks for Joining Us!

This page exists to share information about the South Sudan Community Restoration Project, a ministry of Kent Lutheran Church in Kent, Washington in the United States. More information will be posted soon, but in the meantime, here's the story of how we got started.

Kent Lutheran Church was blessed by the membership of a large group of Sudanese families in 2010. Their stories of war, relocation and living as refugees touched the entire congregation. Now, in the wake of Sudan's independence, many in our congregation hope to help with repatriation efforts, to assist those living as refugees around Africa, and the world to return to their homeland if they wish to.

Near-constant war since 1985 has left South Sudan's infrastructure in ruins. While refugees could technically return, they have no jobs, homes, clean water sources or schools for their children to attain any quality of life.

Our mission trip hopes to make repatriation possible for those who wish to return.

We have several goals for this trip, which may become the first of several.

While surface water is abundant in much of South Sudan, and certainly in Upper Nile, water is full of bacteria, pollutants and parasites. The team will be installing biosand water filters which can eliminate every pollutant except for pesticides and salt from surface water. The biosand filters are very inexpensive and fast to build. They are also efficient--each filter serves approximately 70 people for between 25-30 years with very minimal maintenance.

The climate in South Sudan leaves many days "too hot" or "too wet" for school. Presently school and church meetings are held under trees for shade or shelter. Teachers are not available to students at this time, and students lack classroom materials and uniforms. Our goal is to build a multipurpose building which can serve as a church and school, and to provide the necessary implements for a successful school year.

Most of South Sudan's population is subsistence farmers, but we hope to establish a few microbusinesses as well.
Water Filters
We will be teaching people how to build the biosand water filters and leaving equipment to replicate the process in other communities to earn a living wage.
With the abundance of surface water in the region, there is also an abundance of mosquitos. Malaria is a very serious risk and mosquito nets are a critical tool to survival. We plan to provide treadle sewing machines, mosquito netting and instruction to locally manufacture mosquito nets, keeping jobs local, and costs low to enable more people to buy nets.

*Early estimate last updated 6/2011.

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