Life in South Sudan hits the Front Page in the US: New York Times
Many people in the US are unaware of the scale of the ongoing humanitarian disaster that has defined life in South Sudan for decades. Recently, however, the crisis in South Sudan has hit the front pages, raising critical awareness of the plight of millions of displaced people.
The New York Times featured an above-the-fold story by Megan Specia and Kassie Bracken on May 30, 2018 titled, "In South Sudan a Never-Ending Hunger Season Puts Millions in Danger." The article details the layers of complications that have left millions of civilians struggling to feed themselves, literally caught between the crossfire of battling powers as they seek to stave-off hunger and associated problems.
THE SSEF CONNECTION: While there are many reasons to care about this issue, it is especially important to understand how US South Sudanese are impacted, both emotionally and financially. As refugees and immigrants who straddle two worlds, many local South Sudanese work hard to establish a stable life in the US—yet their family and friends who remain in South Sudan live under unspeakable hardship and uncertainty. Who wouldn't be called to help family and friends reduced to such deprivation? Often, these newcomers to America split their earnings between family priorities in the US and family priorities in South Sudan. This means budgets are stretched that much more tightly in an effort to balance complicated and competing needs. The impulse to help those who are left behind, the sense of powerlessness from knowing dear ones are suffering far away, and the financial pressures that accompany day-to-day life in the US are all sources of immense, ongoing stress. This is why SSEF is here: to offer support through specific programming. Though we cannot fix the political quagmire in South Sudan, we can have a positive, tangible impact on the lives of those who have resettled to the US by providing summer camp for children, mentoring for adults, preschool scholarships, assistance with finding affordable housing, and workshops and events designed to help establish a strong foundation for the Greater Boston South Sudanese community.