Highly regarded and well trusted, the Christian church is one of the largest bodies in the country and operates equally on a national level as well as within local and regional communities. An aspect that underpins all of our work is helping to build the capacity of churches in South Sudan. The overwhelming majority of the population identify themselves as Christian and the churches within the country form a network that have survived the ravages of the civil war.
With over 155 tribal groups each possessing their own language and culture, the church has the potential to heal internal divisions within South Sudan and unite people from the across the country.
“A 15 year old girl in South Sudan is more likely to die during childbirth than to finish school.” Source DFID
The civil war has left South Sudan a country with great needs and nowhere is this more evident than in the area of health. 1 in 7 children will die before their fifth birthday, usually from preventable diseases such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and malaria. The maternal mortality rate is the highest in the world: 1 in 6 women will die of pregnancy-related causes.
AID believes that there is an urgent need to address this lack of basic healthcare and, though the challenge is great, has begun to implement three projects which could have a dramatic impact.
We work in the ECS dioceses of Juba and Yei, to develop and support Manna Microfinance, a financial services and enterprise programme.
Overseen by AID and the ECS and delivered by our partner organisation, The Bridge Foundation, Manna Microfinance is run by local people and serves over three hundred members. With a 98% repayment rate and strong support from the local community we hope to create similar schemes in at least ten ECS dioceses within the next three years.
Read more about the latest news in our Transforming Lives report.