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His home turned to ashes

This refugee lost everything during the civil war, but now thanks Tearfund for their timely support.

After 5 years in a refugee camp, this young father returned to find everything he had — incinerated.

“Finally, I can return home!” he thought. This 26-year-old father is the only provider for his family and looked forward to resting in the comfort of his own home once again with his six children. However, upon returning to South Sudan, any future hopes turned to dust.

This is David Taban Duku’s story.

David was ready to be back home in Kajo-Keji County, South Sudan. However, he returned to almost nothing. Fleeing his home because of the political unrest in 2016, his time at the refugee camp in Uganda was difficult. Home again, his problems had exacerbated.

Not only was his family’s home burnt to the ground, but the farm and other valuable household properties were destroyed. Exhausted from the journey, there was nothing to eat and nowhere to sleep upon their arrival. Thankfully, some sympathetic neighbours who had returned earlier to the area, offered a temporary place to sleep. They also offered some food to get the family through the laborious days to come.

David’s home, farm, and all assets burned during the civil war. With the help of Tearfund’s HERD program, David and his family can now survive.

David stressed under the weight of providing for his family. He lamented, “My children are still young and my wife is pregnant. I am the only breadwinner in the household. This house we are living in does not even belong to us. When we returned from the camp, everything was destroyed, and now, we still don’t have money to rebuild it, as we can’t even afford food.” For their daily survival, David engaged in casual labour around the village, such as digging, for money to feed his family.

David’s story is only one of many. There are currently thousands of returnees in Kajo-Keji County whose circumstances echo one another; he is not the only refugee who lost everything.

In support of the vulnerable families, Tearfund is currently implementing a Humanitarian Early Recovery and Development project (HERD), that aims to reduce hunger, improve nutrition, and empower vulnerable households to lift themselves out of poverty.

Thanks to your support, David and his family received food assistance. Because of this, they found their way back to their normal lives. David gives his thanks to Tearfund, as the emergency supplies gave him the gift of time to get back on his feet.

Thanks to donors like you, David says he could start bush clearing and digging on his own farmland. He is grateful to not have to work on other people’s farms for money to buy food anymore. With these harvests, he hopes to be self-reliant in the coming months and be able to sell any surplus to send his children to school. From a refugee who lost everything, he is now rebuilding what he once had.

Thanks to your generosity, not only are families like David’s spared from the hunger crisis, but they are being inspired to make a change for the long term. 1,000 farmer households from among the beneficiaries received intensive agricultural support and extension services to promote sustainable agricultural practices.

At long last, there is hope for new growth and prosperous futures in Kajo-Keji.

With your help, we can provide aid to help families get back on their feet

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