[ACNS, by Kenyi Dube] A South Sudanese evangelistic movement in the diocese of Yei has grown into an interdenominational charity while operating in the refugee camps in the Arua district of northern Uganda. It was forced to relocate there from Yei after the outbreak of war in July last year. Since then, the group moved to the refugee camp where it continued to carry out its activities.
It started as a gospel band in Immanuel Cathedral at the diocese of Yei, before becoming Faith Line Ministries in order to include Christians from other denominations to participate in its activities. It has grown further and is now a national non-governmental organisation called Faith Aid Initiative for Humanity, providing leadership training, evangelical training, youth conference , and training woman and youth how to improve their livelihoods – mostly in the refugee camps in northern Ugandan and with internally displaced people within South Sudan.
The organisation invested its time teaching, training and preaching to people in the refugee camps in order to raise their hopes after having lost all in the course of the conflict. Most of them have lost one or more of their family members and others have lost all their properties as they run for refuge into Uganda, most of them trekked the about 80 miles by foot.
The Executive director, Evan Mbaraza Emmanuel, told the Anglican Communion News Service that they received some assistance from a group Anglican friends in the UK to continue delivering assistance to the refugees as well as the host communities in order to improve their livelihoods. They began by training a group of 50 women both from the refugee and the host community in liquid shop making. He said that he feels happy when he sees the refugees smiling again with hopes of returning back to their country with a skill to start up with.
“We are currently training a total number of 50 participants all women and we have combined them both from the host community as well as the refugees in order to build sense of love and
togetherness between themselves”, he said. “This training will help them start up their own businesses and will continue to make such liquid soaps and sell them in the market this will help them raise some income.
“Secondly I feel happy especially for the refugees for they all have the hopes of returning back home soon and they will eventually have something to start with upon arrival home “
At the same time, Faith Aid Initiative For Humanity is also training 100 youth leaders from the Bidibidi refugee settlement and Imvepi camps on discipleship and leadership skills. These youth leaders are drawn from different denomination and they have also involved the youth from the host community to participate in the trainings.
Faith Aid Initiative For Humanity have since trained a number of young people and woman in the refugee camps of northern Uganda and some internally displaced persons in South Sudan most in livelihood skills, discipleship and leadership trainings, they have been operating in Uganda after the outbreak of the conflict in July 2016. Since then most of the population in greater Yei sought refuge in Uganda.
However some individuals began returning back after the signing of the peace deal last year in the Sudanese capital Khartoum; and when the Archbishop of Canterbury and Pope Francis invited all the warring parties to Rome, where Pope Francis kissed their feet, it gave them hope that this peace will now work.
But many still cast doubt on the reality of the signed peace because since then there were still fighting in some parts of Yei making many to fear returning back and the previous peace deals that were signed but still collapsed especially the peace deal which was signed in 2015 and collapsed in 2016.