Starting in February, you can read the Sudan reflections of Alison Staab, MBB volunteer and supporter. Here's a sample of her views from a recent trip to Sudan:
"In November and early December of 2010 I went to South Sudan with Sr. Marilyn Lacey, founder of Mercy Beyond Borders, an organization which partners with Sudanese displaced women and girls in ways that alleviate their extreme poverty. We spent three weeks traveling around to visit some of the projects the organization funds, including schools, literacy classes for women, and small businesses that have benefitted by receiving micro loans provided by MBB.
Since returning to the U.S. a month ago, I have been thinking a lot about Sudan. I’ve been noticing the contrast between lifestyle in the two places: the availability and abundance of food here, compared to the scarcity of food in Sudan. Clean water on tap in they typical American home, compared to a walk to the pump for the Sudanese woman or child - then a return walk home carrying a jerry can full of water on the head. Quality medical care here, versus scarce, understaffed and poorly supplied clinics in South Sudan. Free public school for every American child through age 18, contrasted with South Sudan, where less than 1.9 percent complete 8th grade.
I’ve been remembering other things about Sudan as well: the openness and friendliness of the people you meet while walking down the street. The ubiquitous smiling faces, even when shadowed by those heavy jerry cans full of water. The pleasure in being together, and cooperation as they work around their homes, shown by Sudanese mothers, daughters, and younger sons. The responsibility demonstrated by older sons – by “older” here I mean 8 or 10 – as they move their cows around in search of grazing land.
These are the two images of the Sudanese people I came away with that touched me most: their poverty, and their spirit. During the upcoming months I’ll be posting more about my experiences in Sudan and reflections on them in a new blog at www.southsudanreflections.blogspot.com/. If you are interested in learning about South Sudan, take a look at my blog periodically! Welcome and Enjoy!"