|As far as our situation in the camp there are now few cases of covid-19 and restrictions are being lifted but face masks are still encouraged to be worn.
The UN camp has grown to about 37,000 people because people have left Sudan in the north because of the coup last October who were South Sudanese refugees living there. Also there has been severe flooding here in Upper Nile State since last year and people have been forced to come to our camp because their homes are under water and have no other place to go.
We have begun activities again in our Church since last October and everyday there are activities such as youth drama and dancing groups, legion of Mary, choir and altar server practice, liturgy and parish council meetings, religious education classes for those youth and adults preparing for the sacraments and of course our joyful Sunday liturgies which last over 2 hours.
We continue to visit families in the camp when someone is sick or when there is a new-born child to be blessed. Recently members of the church went with me to bless the birth of twins to a family in which we wear face masks all times.
We have also begun a hospital ministry of taking 8 people a day from our camp to visit the UN Indian soldiers’ hospitals, to visit the dentist and to take people who are very sick. We take 4 people a day to the dentist and 4 to visit the doctor specialist for our people who are sick and suffering. Since there is only one dentist here in all of Upper Nile and for the camp needless to say the needs are great and we are testing to help our people who are suffering and in pain.
We continue to do our weekly radio program of the Sunday liturgy that is broadcast to all the people in the camp as well as in Malakal town. Every Saturday morning, I come together with members of the church to tape the service on radio, which is then broadcast every Sunday morning at 8am over the radio for people to hear.
Fr. Mike Bassano, mm
In addition, we want to share with you a brief report on Rice Distribution to the Refugee Returnees from Ethiopia. This activity has been followed up from Fr Mike Bassano.
Last January UNHCR FO Malakal multifunctional team jointly with its protection partners HDC and DRC conducted vulnerability assessment to identify PSNs and most vulnerable refugee returnees. 32 hh, translated to 308 individuals were verified. Majority are women and children and have refugee identity cards.
During the assessment, the team found that the returnees have nothing because they flee from the conflict in Ethiopia where they are not able to carry their belongings and are dire of food and NFIs assistances. Thus, based on the results of the assessment, the Catholic Church (Maryknoll Famine Relief project in USA) through Father Michael Bassano donated 120 bags of rice to UNHCR for distribution to those returnees. This was timely assistance because of delays by FSL cluster and food security, situation of the returnees is dire, as majority of them are women and children.
On 8 February 20222, UNHCR together with its protection partner HDC distributed the donated 120 bags of rice to the refugee returnees at HDC protection desk to avoid complains of the crowded IDPs who mixed with the refugee returnees at Fire Brigade.
During the distribution, the returnees appreciated the Catholic church and UNHCR for the support given to them in this difficult moment. Further on, the protection partners HDC and DRC will continue protection monitoring at the sites, as their routine activity and report any protection issues to UNHCR in regular basis for necessary action.
2 Mar 2022
Latest News, South Sudan, Solidarity