2,660 needy families receive Ramadan food packs in South Sudan

Susan instructing her son to push the bike as she navigates the hilly terrain in Suk-Zande

Islamic Relief has distributed 2,660 Ramadan food parcels to carefully selected households in Juba as South Sudan continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

This year, Muslims are celebrating the holy month as the world battles the biggest threat posed by a virus with strict measures such as social distancing, restricted movement, and a ban in social gatherings.

The Ramadan food assistance intends to help the needy and most vulnerable Muslims to join their fellow brother and sisters in breaking the fast during this period.

Susan Malu Martine is a single mother and a beneficiary of Ramadan food in Juba. She is living with a disability and she uses an old wheelchair. To move around. The mother of five painfully narrated the challenges she faces in providing for her children.

Susan woes started in 2017 when her husband got killed in a fight between rebels and Government forces in Yambio

‘’My daily earnings come from plaiting hair of my friends in the busy town- Konyo- Konyo Market. My husband died some years ago in Yambio.” She explains that “Sometimes I tried to invest my small earnings in the petty business of selling groundnuts.”

Confronted with a lot of challenges, Susan only finds some moments of her joy during the night when her children are asleep.  “When the days break, my anxieties come back mercilessly as I can hardly afford to buy a 20-liter jerrycan of water for the children”, she explains.

In South Sudan, people living with disabilities are one of the most unprivileged and stigmatized groups in a society where decision-making is the prerogative of able-bodied people. Although food, water, and health facilities top the list of challenges, others include a lack of legislation to protect the rights of people with disabilities.  Many cannot access hospitals because of the unfriendly infrastructure at such facilities.

Despite her condition, Susan has inspiring skills in hairdressing saying, “If supported so many women will benefit from my talent.” She hopes to find a scholarship for her children so that they do not experience what she has gone through.

Susan is grateful to Islamic Relief for improving her family’s diet through the food she received which many beneficiaries said has helped them to break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

By Ochan Joram David Silvio – IR South Sudan Communications Officer