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SVP Activities

Helping children in the Sudan, an example of the work that the SVP do.

Life was good in Southern Sudan; the land was green and fertile. The families were not rich, but they had a cow, a few goats and chickens and a little land to grow food and the women made a drink from the roots of plants – this was all they needed.  Then the war came!  This is what happened to two of the children, Ding and Bakhita.

Ding
Ding

Ding was ten years old when the soldiers came and took his father away to fight; Ding and his mother had to escape and make the long journey across the desert to Khartoum in the north.  They walked for many miles and sometimes were able to have a ride on the back of a wagon, but Ding was separated from his mother and never saw her again.  He arrived in Khartoum and found it dirty and dusty.  He had to beg for food, because he had no money and to hide at night so that he could sleep on the streets.  At some time, Ding had been bitten by a mosquito, so he got malaria; he became more and more sick and in the end he fell down in the street, very sick indeed, almost at the point where he would die, but then something really good happened! A kind lady, who was a member of the SVP found him and took him to a home, which the SVP ran for the many boys just like Ding who were lost or orphaned. They paid for a doctor to give him the medicine he needed to make him better and they took him in to the home and cared for him.  The SVP paid for Ding to go to school, they fed and clothed him and taught him how to do woodwork so that he would have a trade later.  He had medical treatment at the SVP’s Friday clinics and grew healthy, strong and tall.

Bakhita and her Brother
Bakhita and her Brother

Bakhita was only two years old when her parents had to leave their home and everything they owned and they too made their way across the desert to Khartoum.  It was a long journey and her mother was very tired, because another baby would come soon after they arrived.  They had nowhere to live, so in the desert, they made a shelter from four poles and some plastic until her father could make a house from mud bricks. When the time came for the baby to be born, her mother was poorly because she had no food, but the SVP took her to their clinic and looked after her and the baby. Bakhita’s father went to the SVP training centre and learned to repair fridges, so that he would be able to have a job and earn money to look after his family; he was very proud of the certificate he had, which said that he was qualified. Before he found a job, they were very poor and there wasn’t even enough money for food for Bakhita and her brother, so each day they went to the SVP Baby feeding Centre and had a nourishing meal; Bakhita would make sure that her little brother had enough before she would eat herself and she would take some of her food home in a little pot to share with her parents; she was a very kind little girl.  She went to school and had regular medical treatments from the SVP’s mobile clinics which visited the school.

So what has happened to the children? Ding is grown up now; he didn’t become a carpenter because, when he finished school, the SVP paid for him to go to college and he qualified as an engineer. The war in the south has ended and it is a separate country- South Sudan, but roads and bridges and buildings have been destroyed and Ding has returned to try to find his family and to use his skills to rebuild the country.

Bakhita is at secondary school and when she finishes, she will train to be a nurse and her little brother, well, he wants to come to England and play football for Liverpool – his prize possession is a poster of Steven Gerrard!

And so, they lived happily ever after, but not because of a fairy godmother, because of the hard working members of SVP in Sudan and all the members in England and Wales, who send money to help them to do their work.  Please pray for the poor people in Sudan and for the SVP members who care for them. Thank you for your help!

Written by Ruth Mawdsley

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19th January 2013

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