News Release

Sudan Refugees Given Hope Through Donations

On April 12th, Elder and Sister Hannan, Humanitarian Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, joined other missionary couples and support teams to deliver many needed items to Sudan Refugees.

“My business is to give them hope,” was the message Honorable Musa Ecweru, Minister of Relief, Disaster Preparedness, and Refugees, conveyed to those traveling with him to deliver much needed supplies to the Sudanese refugees in camps near Adjumani, Uganda.  With over 80,000 refugees in this area alone, the landscape is dotted with settlement villages.

The items were delivered to the most vulnerable: mothers with children, the elderly, and the disabled. Minister Ecweru told those in the camps, “I have listened to your mothers who told me they have no way of cooking for their children, no protection from the mosquitoes, and no blankets when it is cold in the morning.  We are removing your problems one by one.”   Several months ago the Church joined with Catholic Charities and contributed thousands of dollars to help provide food for the refugees.

Titus Jogo, Refugee Desk Officer, explained that 68,000 of the 80,000 refugees have arrived since the fighting intensified last December.  Eight hundred arrived in one truck trailer. Upon arrival Sudan Refugees are first taken to a reception center where they are registered, temporarily housed, fed, and given medical help if needed.  They are then assigned a place to live in one of the camps or a new camp is created.  In the settlement camps they are given land, food, and core relief items.

Mr. Jogo went on to say that the uncertainties in the on-going peace talks result in a continuous flow of refugees into the area.  In March there were still 300-400 Sudanese arriving every day and so far in early April there are 120-150 arriving daily.

As the Minister Ecweru, Elder and Sister Hannan, and those accompanying them visited the camps of Baratuku, Nyumanzi, and Ayilo, they received a joyous welcome.  The residents lined the acess road into the camps and greeted them with singing, clapping, dancing, hugs, huge smiles and handshakes.  Minister Ecweru told the people, “I have come to assure you, no one will harm you.  You are safe here.  Your suffering is shared by the world and it is temporary.  One day you will be home as free people.” When asked how Uganda can continue to care for so many refugees on so many of its borders, the Minister replied, “Refugees don’t come by invitation.  Uganda has no choice.”

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