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South Sudan celebrates nine years of independence

South Sudan celebrates nine years of independence

By Chris Sugden
July 1, 2020

Thursday July 9th is South Sudan Day when the country will celebrate nine years of formal independence from Sudan. Following civil war from 1983, and a subsequent truce period, the people of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly in January 2011 for independence from Sudan which was enacted on July 9 2011.

The newly formed Episcopal Church of Southern Sudan under Archbishop Moses Deng Bul refused to take aid from the Episcopal Church of North America and similar Anglican agencies and provinces because of their ordination of active gays as senior clergy.

Anglicans meeting at the first GAFCON Conference in Jerusalem in June 2008 took the view that they could not stand inactively by while orthodox Anglicans were facing such an uncertain future without support. 90% of the 8 million population were living on less than a dollar a day, and fifty percent were Anglican Christians.

Canon Dr Vinay Samuel, a member of the organising team at Jerusalem proposed that GAFCON establish a relief and development programme for member provinces. Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria, the GAFCON Chairman, then asked him to start with South Sudan. Moses Deng, now Archbishop Deng Archbishop of Northern Bahr el Ghazal in South Sudan, was the World Vision representative in Juba.

Canon Samuel asked him to help organise a conference under the International Fellowship of Evangelical Mission Theologians with the Anglican Church of Sudan. Rev David Holloway, vicar of Jesmond Parish Church Newcastle who had worked in Sudan, and Canon Dr Chris Sugden also took part in the conference who are current trustees of AID along with Lord Donald Curry and Canon Charles Raven.
Dr Samuel led the Bridge Foundation, an Indian organization with over twenty years experience in microfinance. Under this programme, people in very small retail, tailoring and agricultural businesses are given loans of between £50 - £300 to build up their business, creating both jobs and income. When loans, given to a small community group, are repaid they are reinvested in another micro-business.

Four pillars

To take this forward Anglican International Development was formed. Manna Micro Finance proved to be a very resilient project even through the civil war following independence as the 'beneficiaries' said they could not let their church down by failing to repay their loans. A medical training institute was established in Bor to train practitioners up to the level of clinical assistants, but not to medical practitioner status in order to avoid graduates leaving the country to practice overseas. During COVID-19, thanks to support from Barnabas Fund, the Anglican Communion Fund and several AID supporters, a major consignment of PPE resources were secured for the Bor Institute to enable students to return. Trumpeter Community Health Programme has also been taking community health education, such as the need to dig latrines, into informal and slum locations. These church based programmes are also sustained by the fourth pillar of a Christian Education programme of 'church strengthening' to support the need to train biblically informed pastors at the Bishop Gwynne Theological College in Juba.

Live Internet Broadcast

To mark South Sudan Day, AID is holding a Live Internet Broadcast on Thursday July 9th from 7.30 p.m. ( www.anglicaninternationaldevelopment.org). Video presentations of the four 'pillars' of AID's partnership will be followed by live comments from a panel in the studio. This will include AID Trustee Lord Donald Curry, who chaired the 2002 Curry Commission on the Future of Farming and Food , Tabitha Muthui the AID projects co-ordinator based in Nairobi and the newly appointed Chief Executive of AID, Dr Simon Tustin who has been churchwarden and chair of the World Mission Group at St Andrew's the Great, Cambridge and brings significant overseas experience in Congo, India, Iraq and Kuwait.

Questions will be invited from those 'tuning' in by way of a 'comments' section. Archbishop Justin Badi Arama of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Baroness Caroline Cox will round off the presentations.

Project co-ordinator James Stileman says that they hope to raise £75,000 to develop these projects through the broadcast.

7.30pm BST | Facebook | YouTube | AID website
Join us on 9th July!

You are warmly invited to AID's first ever online event. On Thursday 9th July at 7.30pm BST, we are holding a live online presentation to mark nine years since South Sudan became independent.

The event will include insightful updates from AID staff, fascinating footage from our projects and suggestions for how you can be part of what we are doing in East Africa. It will last about 40 minutes, after which there will be an opportunity to send in questions using the chat feature.

To join the event, simply click this link or go to our Facebook page or YouTube channel where it will be streamed live. https://anglicaninternationaldevelopment.org/aid-live/

Yours in Christ,

The AID team

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