Supporting the Sudans With Pleasure

by Gerry Lynch last modified 12 Jun, 2017 06:04 PM

Sudan Summer Fete this Sunday; Lent appeal closes after raising £82k

Bishop Nicholas’ Lent Appeal for South Sudan has now closed, with the last donations trickling in during early June, having raised a remarkable £82,178 for Christian Aid’s famine relief work in South Sudan.

Bishop Nicholas wrote to local newspapers across Wilts and Dorset to thank churchpeople and the wider public for their support saying, “It was an extraordinarily generous response that will save lives and help build sustainability for the future.

“In fact, Lent gifts from the Diocese to S Sudan exceeded £115,000 thanks to other local initiatives such as the churches in the Chalke Deanery raising £12,000 for their link Diocese of Cieubet, and St Mark’s Salisbury giving £15,000 for ministerial training in a country where the churches are almost the only hope for building civil society.

“Generous giving is not all one way. We receive greatly from this international link and we also learn that being generous is part of what it is to be human. Thank you to everyone who contributed.”

The news comes just days before the annual Sudan Summer Fête at the Bishop’s home, South Canonry in Salisbury Cathedral Close. Bishop Nicholas and Mrs Holtam would be pleased to welcome all from 2-5 pm this Sunday, 18 June.

Some call it quaint, all find it fun, and this quintessentially English summer fête raises vital funds which save lives in one of the world’s poorest countries.

Doing good and having fun at the same time? It is possible. Entertainment includes everything from a brass band to live camels, to the Cathedral’s Junior and Youth Choirs. All the usual fête stalls and games will be there. This is a rare chance to see the beautiful South Canonry gardens. And when people have exhausted themselves from all that, they can take a ride in a vintage car before flopping down for tea and cake by the river.

Every year, the fête raises more than £10,000 for the Salisbury-Sudan Medical Link, which supports healthcare in Sudan and South Sudan, two of the world’s poorest countries.

The Link supplies medicine and equipment, including basics like bandages, disinfectant, and anti-malarials. It also trains local people as medical workers, including training midwives in South Sudan, which has the highest rate of women dying in childbirth on the planet, a terrible one in seven. Every trained midwife will save scores of lives throughout her career.

Mike Maclachlan, a Marlborough resident, visited South Sudan earlier this year to attend the graduation of four medical trainees who were sponsored by the Sudan Medical Link.

Wau Graduands.JPGHe reports, “The visit to Wau (pronounced ‘Wow’) in South Sudan had already been delayed by a month – the security situation had been dire – but a brief gap in the civil war hostilities had opened up. It was 24 February, 2017 and the graduation ceremony of twenty five students from the Mary Help College of Nursing and Midwifery was finally under way.

“Martina and Luka graduated as Enrolled Midwives, Angelina as a Registered Midwife and Samuel as a Registered Nurse. Another six Salisbury-sponsored students will qualify next year and a further six will begin later this year.

“Each of the four, having earned their diploma, has returned to clinics in their home Dioceses to minister primary health care to their communities – prescribing medicines supplied by the Medical Link – simple remedies saving lives and simple skills saving mothers in childbirth.

“Meanwhile, back in the capital Juba, our pharmacy was already preparing for the dispatch of another consignment of primary healthcare medicines – the third in 2017.”

“The Medical Link is a modest affair – but we punch above our weight!”

Malnourished Child in Wau.JPG“Down the road in Wau Town, its two cathedrals were each fielding IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons – refugees in their own country) because in these sanctuaries they felt safe – twelve thousand in the Catholic compound and six thousand in the Episcopal.

“Despite being some distance from the famine area declared by the UN, the incidence of severe malnutrition amongst the youngsters here was high. To the Diocese of Salisbury’s great credit, we have been able to help both locally in Wau and more widely in famine-stricken Unity State.”

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