In less than a month’s time, on 9 July 2011, South Sudan will be declaring independence from North Sudan, becoming the world’s 195th country.
Tearfund’s Sudan Country Representative Jonas Njelango reflects on the prospects for this new country.
‘We have many hopes for the new Republic of South Sudan but we must be also realistic that there are a lot of challenges. In the South, it is estimated that 90 per cent of people live below the poverty line of less than US $1 a day. Despite this we are positive about what lies ahead.
‘In Goja, for example, the community, led by the local church, has a 20-year plan to address local problems. Six years on they are ahead of their plan, having built a school, a church and most houses now have toilets. Thanks to hygiene education, people are now washing their hands, boiling water and using rubbish pits.
‘Farming cooperatives are cultivating large areas of land and many now own small businesses. Such transformation comes through a process known as ‘Umoja’, which inspires churches and communities through the use of the Bible to consider what resources they have and to work together to undertake their own development.
‘This brings hope for the future of the South and we need to pray to see more of it.’
In the lead-up to 9 July, Tearfund has created a 21-day prayer guide to help you remember the people of Sudan and South Sudan during this key transitional time.