World Concern

World Concern provides life, opportunity and hope to suffering people around the world through disaster response and development programs. Motivated by our love of Christ, we bring hope and reconciliation to those we serve, so they may in turn share with others.
Jul 26, 2012

Better crops feed the hungry in Lietnhom.

Manut is growing bigger, better crops.
Manut is growing bigger, better crops.

Your support is helping transform lives in Lietnhom, South Sudan already!  We’ve just completed a seed distribution in the area, providing high-yield, drought-resistant seeds to farmers.

We’re also helping them grow better crops with irrigation tools, like treadle pumps. A treadle pump is similar to a stair-stepper machine. It uses human energy to lift water from an underground source to water crops. Such an innovative tool!

Manut Magol lives in Lietnhom and received a treadle pump. Although he’s been farming since childhood, Manut was struggling to grow vegetables with the few skills he’d learned from his mother. He watered his crops by carrying water in a hollowed-out gourd.

“This was only possible on a small scale,” said Manut. Can you imagine trying to water a field by hand-carrying water in a gourd?

“The beginning of the year came with surprises as World Concern provided me with a treadle pump,” he said. “This has helped me produce a variety of vegetables on a bigger scale.”

Manut is growing cabbage, kale, herbs and more. Other farmers are excited to learn from him when they see the progress he’s made with his farm.

Your support means families like Manut’s are not only eating healthier, more nutritious food, but they are earning income from their farms as well. And in turn, the local economy benefits from this improvement.

Speaking of economic development, we’ve also helped start a fishing association, made up of more than 100 local fishermen. With World Concern’s assistance, these fishermen are learning sustainable fishing practices; including abstaining from fishing during breeding seasons and using the proper size nets to prevent catching fish that are too small. We’ve provided fishnet twine and training for them to manufacture the proper size nets.

All of this means larger harvests, more food, and better income during the fishing season.

Thank you for partnering with us as we bring lasting, sustainable change to the village of Lietnhom. The people here have suffered from hunger, poor health and extreme poverty for many years. With your support, they’re seeing hope for a better future and transformed lives.

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May 18, 2012

Influx of displaced families creates new crisis

A displaced family
A displaced family's shelter in Dhobley.

World Concern has been responding to the crisis in Dhobley since August, but staff members are seeing a sudden sharp increase in new arrivals. Ongoing drought and conflict in other parts of Southern Somalia are to blame for the influx. However, some people are returning from the refugee camps in Dadaab, citing insecurity and lack of food and other support in the camps as the reason for leaving.

Maria Abdi arrived in Dhobley, Somalia, with her five children and nothing but the clothes on their backs. She fled her hometown of Afmadow because there was no work there and the children were hungry. A relative paid her way to travel to Dhobley after Maria pleaded with them, having heard there was assistance here. But there was a charge for luggage and she couldn’t afford it, so she came empty-handed.

“I need everything a human being needs—all the basic necessities,” she said.

Maria’s family is among a new influx of arrivals in Dhobley, a transit point near the border for those traveling from Somalia to the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya.

“We visited the areas where families are settling in Dhobley and conditions are bad,” said World Concern Africa Director Buck Deines. “Most live in very temporary shelters, inadequate to protect them from the harsh weather. In some cases the shelters are nothing more than sticks and mosquito nets. We saw the interiors of several shelters, and in most cases, the families have no supplies of any kind.”

Deines estimates there are approximately 12,000 people that have settled in makeshift camps and are in immediate need of help. World Concern is planning to distribute vouchers that will supply families with a two-week supply of food, as well as emergency supplies like tarps, blankets, cooking pots, water jugs and more. However, additional funding is needed to respond immediately. World Concern has been supporting people affected by the famine and drought in the Horn of Africa for nine months, and the recent increase in displaced families presents an urgent need.

Khayro Yussuf sits inside her shelter made from faded garments and held together by rope. Two metal cups are the only possessions inside her tent, except for an orange flask, which a relative uses to bring her tea.

She fled her village after three of her brothers and her uncle were killed in front of her. Khayro and her children came to Dhobley, fearing for their lives.  

She received some food rations, but when she put it on a donkey cart, the owner of the cart took off with her only food. “When he realized I was not a resident and that I didn’t know where to go, he ran away with it,” she said.

Shortly after arriving, Khayro sent her son to Dadaab. “I was afraid he would be absorbed by militia … I never wanted my son to carry a gun or to join such kinds of groups,” she said.

Her daughter is staying with her in Dhobley. “If she is to die, she will die here with me,” said Khayro.

Khayro Yussuf inside her tent.
Khayro Yussuf inside her tent.
Maria Abdi with two of her children in Dhobley.
Maria Abdi with two of her children in Dhobley.

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May 4, 2012

Providing income to feed hungry families

River boats help businesses reach villages.
River boats help businesses reach villages.

Thank you for stepping up and answering the call to help the people of Lietnhom who are suffering in the wake of war and living in extreme poverty.

With almost no infrastructure in this region, helping people earn income to feed their families is a vital step in improving their lives. Together, we’re providing these opportunities, as well as teaching people to save some of their earnings for things like school fees through village banking and savings groups.

One of those we’ve helped with a small business loan is Bol Mayom. When we met Bol, he was selling salt under a tree in Lietnhom. As you can imagine, this didn’t provide nearly enough income to survive. With the support of World Concern, Bol now sells a variety of products he gets from Wau, the nearest town. He’s even earning enough to employ a young man who is also benefitting from the business.

“When I got the loan and business training, I realized I have the opportunity to expand my business by purchasing more products, thereby increasing the number of my customers,” said Bol, who proudly displays his products in the shop he constructed.

The rainy season often brings flooding rivers and cuts off access to other villages. It’s also the inspiration behind a flourishing business in Lietnhom—the River Jur Cooperative Society. The only co-op of its kind in the area, the group of entrepreneurs provides transportation by motor boat to help farmers transport tools and equipment and enable fishermen to catch fish to sell in the market.

Recently, they expanded their business to help deliver food to these inaccessible communities—providing a vital service to people in need.

“This is a busy time for me as many passengers and products are being transported to and from these communities,” said Anei Manut, a boat operator for the cooperative. “We charge people fairly just to cover fuel and to earn a little profit so many people can afford this asset to the community.”

Through training and education, you’re helping provide opportunities like this for people in Lietnhom, and in doing so, bringing hope for a better future. We'll be posting regular updates on how you’re helping transform lives in this village, so stay tuned.

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