MC Director, Barrett Ward and MC Artist, Dave Barnes traveled to Sudan for the first time in December with our partners, Persecution Project. And what an experience it was…
Here’s Barrett’s firsthand account of the trip:
“We went to a town called Jach near the Darfur border. The short background on Darfur is that since 2003 the government has been committing genocide against it’s citizens in this region, with over 400,000 people being killed and 2.7 million people having to flee their homes for desolate but safer areas. Last month alone, 20,000 people fled to this area called Jach that we visited. It is important to realize that the some 70,000 people that live in this region are all refugees, and that there was nothing here 5 years ago. When we visited each village, the people were welcoming and joyful in receiving us, and desperate in their need. Each town’s council of elders sat in a circle with us and told us their needs, and the number one was clean water. From there, medicine and food. They showed us the hand dug wells they used which carried dirty water. Amongst other sicknesses, some of the predominant effects of dirty water are cholera, diarrhea that kills, and the breeding of malaria-carrying mosquitoes. Specifically, we went to two refugee towns – War Lang, population 9,614 with no wells, and Chow Lek, an area of 17,000 people with 1 well. Mocha Club is working through a plan to build 6 wells total in these two areas in the spring. This is one of those things that will very literally save many lives.
We had never seen anything like this area before, with people forced into the bush, 100’s of miles from any medical care or clean water. We heard multiple stories of men who had survived the war (1 man who had 27 spots of bullet wounds and shrapnel on his body). We met a 15 pound 4-year old girl being nursed back to health, and saw communities that were doing everything they could in order to live. There are certainly things that can be done to equip these refugees to stand on their own, like gardens that we have funded that are watered with the wells… but still there is a need to supplement those efforts with relief. As I write this, we are flying on a plane that came into Jach full of relief supplies – we unloaded the supplies and then jumped on for a ride back to Nairobi. Mocha Club helped to fill it with mosquito nets, cookware, medicine, and seed.”
War Lang, one of the places they visited, is community of nearly 10,000 souls. Families have gathered there over the past five years out of necessity, deciding that they would rather struggle in the wilderness against starvation, dehydration and disease than stay in Darfur to be raped and murdered.
Our December outreach team listened as they described their situation. They had not had a visitor in two years. Not a single non-government organization has helped them in any way….THANK YOU for your contributions which are clearly changing lives in Sudan!