The women's hall in LangCok Military Encampment is ready now! And the women are ready, too! This is the place where the women want to study literacy and numeracy, but only when violence subsides long enough in S.Sudan for classes to resume. Inter-ethnic fighting continues to roil the country, making normal life impossible. Nearly half-a-million people have fled into neighboring countries since an attempted coup sparked the conflict in Dec 2013. One-third of the remaining population is at severe risk of starvation in 2015, according to the UN. The world grows weary of this war story, but MBB will not abandon the women!
Mercy Beyond Borders is expanding in Haiti! We've leased this 2-story building adjacent to one of our Scholars' Boarding Lodges and are starting the slow process of transforming it into the very first WOMEN's CENTER in the region. We know the women are excited--because they've told us! During the summer months our staff in Haiti will convene Focus Groups to hear from the women about prioritizing programs; we'll get their advice regarding scheduling and staffing. We're excited, too! We're aiming for a Grand Opening in early 2016.
The men in South Sudan are fighting. Always fighting. And where are their spouses and children? Often they accompany their husbands/fathers, moving from place to place. Here we see Sr Mary Mumu (center), under the watchful eye of armed soldiers, listening to a mom as she describes the women's plans to build (by hand) a hall where they can gather for Literacy Classes. Sr. Mary supervises our rural women's Literacy Classes in South Sudan. Most recently she has befriended the women at LangCok Military encampment in Lakes State. Life is not easy for these military families, but the women are determined to keep learning. MBB stands with them to make that possible.
Thirty-one sacks of peanuts! That's almost 7,000 lbs of crunchy protein....
Those 7,000 lbs represent a triumph for Christine, one of the women participating in Mercy Beyond Borders' micro-enterprise project in the village of Ikwotos, South Sudan. Coupling a modest loan from MBB with plenty of back-breaking farm labor, Christine vastly improved her harvest this year. She was also able to augment the work of her own hands by buying stock from other families fleeing the region's continuing instability. She now sells her peanuts (known as "groundnuts" in Africa) to local markets and schools. Christine demonstrates the resilience of women eager to work their way up from extreme poverty. MBB is proud to stand with her and all the other women in our micro-enterprise groups.