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From Food Assistance to Self Reliance

Your donations have provided the opportunity for families like Juan’s to lift themselves out of poverty

“Seeing your children and yourself dying of hunger is a nightmare. Sadly it was reality.”

Juan Annet Lofu was in a tough situation. With so many mouths to feed, but so little energy from the pain of her own empty stomach, her life was a vicious cycle of hunger.

Juan lives in one of the remote villages of Bamurye boma Kangapo II payam in South Sudan. She and her large family had recently returned to the area after living in a refugee camp in Uganda during the conflict in their homeland.  At only 26 years old, Juan has 10 people in her family to care for, including her own 4 children. 

At the refugee camp Juan’s life was limited to what was given to her. With poor food rations, no access to farmland, and living on less than $1 per day, Juan and her husband, Lofu, decided to return to their ancestral land in Kajo Keji when it became peaceful.  

At the time, going home seemed like the better option, but upon their arrival, there was almost nothing for them to survive on. Luckily, they had brought the little food rations from the camp with them, but from that time on, the family had to get creative. 

To feed her family, Juan started brewing a local alcohol called Waragi, while Lofu began daily, casual work for a neighbour who had settled in the village earlier. Together they made about 1000 Sudanese Pounds (approx. $2.5) per day which was enough to buy food for 1 meal a day for the whole family. Sometimes, the couple would forgo their daily meal to give more to their growing children.

It wasn’t enough. Juan relayed, “Seeing your children and yourself dying of hunger is a nightmare. Sadly it was reality.”

It is thanks to donors like you that it never came to that for Juan, Lofu, and their family. 

Tearfund Canada, together with Canadian Foodgrains Bank, began the Humanitarian Early Recovery Development Program (HERD) in Kajo Keji to reduce hunger, improve nutrition, and promote food security in South Sudan.

Your support to this program made it possible for Juan’s family to receive emergency food assistance, but also the agriculture training they needed to provide for their family’s future. 

Then, things started to look up for the couple! After receiving the food assistance in May, it only took until the end of June for Lofu to harvest 50kg of beans from the 9kg he first planted! Their confidence was restored, and it gave the couple newfound hope for the future. For the first time in a very long time, the family felt that their hardships were coming to an end. 

Juan explained, If we had not been selected on return from the refugee camp to receive  the food assistance, we would have lost hope. My family and I were  very excited when we received the first food ration, and we have regained our lost hope. As it stands we are already self-reliant.

Now, their livelihoods are secure. Thanks to your generosity, the couple has the skills they need to feed their growing children, and generate an income selling their excess crops. Juan is able to buy essential needs like salt, soap, and books for her children, and Lofu rides to the border market in Uganda to get new stock for their newly established business.

Your donations have provided the opportunity for families like Juan’s to lift themselves out of poverty. Your support provides more than just emergency food rations, but it leads the way to regaining people’s dignity.  

You can support people like Juan and give families a future without hunger and extreme poverty.

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