Over the past four years, it has been difficult for Adau and her four children to have enough food to live a healthy, vibrant life. While they were still feeling the impact of lost work due to COVID-19 and ongoing inflation, Adau’s husband abandoned the family.
“I had to struggle to get food for my children. And after Covid, it became even harder both because we were asked to stay home and because the market prices increased,” Adau shares.
In South Sudan, where Adau and her family live, an estimated 7.2 million people are severely food insecure. The most vulnerable households are those with children, pregnant and lactating mothers, elderly people, persons with disabilities, and widows, as well as child-headed households and internally displaced persons. They often have few options for work.
Adau describes, “I tried to find ways to feed the kids and myself. I was heavily engaged in extensive work with very little pay. I would fetch wild fruits to cook for my children since there was no food. I sometimes fetched firewood and water to sell in the market to raise some money to buy food.”
Despite her best efforts, Adau’s family continued to struggle.
“Sometimes we would spend two days without food. I could not tell whether my children would survive until the next day. I would cry as I watched them go to bed hungry and worry that they might die during the night.”
Committed to helping families like Adau’s, with partners at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, PWS&D is helping to provide food assistance in her community in Aweil through Tearfund South Sudan.
The assistance targets the most food-insecure households, helping them meet their daily nutritional requirements until the harvest period. Through this intervention, over 6,000 households received three rounds of food assistance during last year’s lean season. Each household received 86 kilos of sorghum, nine kilos of beans, six litres of cooking oil and a kilo of salt.
“When I heard that Tearfund was conducting registration for food assistance and was targeting the more vulnerable people, I ran there. I had hope that I would be selected and get food for my children to eat. My neighbours who knew my plights requested that I be given priority since my case was a matter of death or survival.”
Adau and her family were selected to receive food assistance. “I was happy and went to give my children hope of the food we were expecting. We were told that the food would come in a few days.”
After such a long time without, Adau couldn’t believe how much food she received: “To my surprise during the first food distribution, I was given 94.5 kilos of sorghum, 15.75 kilos of beans, 6.3 litres of oil, 1.05 kilos of salt. I could not contain my happiness as glimpses of hope for a better life emerged after receiving the food.”
Adau was also given farm inputs so she could build a sustainable livelihood for the future, after the three installments of food aid had finished.
“I knew immediately that things will never be the same again. My children will not have to suffer again since we have food and we were equipped with the seeds and tools to start up life afresh.”
Part of providing food assistance is equipping people to build brighter futures. The food assistance went beyond just providing nutrition for Adau’s family. “People showed me and my children [the] respect we had lost for way too long,” Adau confides.
“[This] has saved my life and that of my children. Tears of joy run down my cheeks every evening as I watch my children gather around the fire and tell stories happily,” Adau shares. “I could not be happier.”