Hundreds of thousands of people have returned to South Sudan since it became independent a year ago. We are working with our partner Caritas Juba and with local churches to support returnees as they rebuild their lives – providing food, water, essential goods and hygiene training to help prevent the spread of disease.
Paul Godfrey, who volunteers for Caritas Juba at a transit camp in Juba, shares his experiences:
At church, they said they needed volunteers to help the returnees from Sudan.
There are a lot of diseases here in the camp. When we do hygiene trainings, we go house to house in the morning. We teach them the kids need to brush their teeth. We say, “Don’t leave standing water.” There are a lot of flies and mosquitoes. We describe how mosquitoes breed in water holes.
There were a lot of snakes here at first. They bit people. Caritas volunteers slashed the brush and cleared it.
We’ve experienced changes in the camp. At first it was so dirty. But now there’s improvement.
South Sudan: one year on>>
Please pray for peace in Sudan and South Sudan>>
A taptap in Port-au-Prince
Catherine Cowley, who has been working as a trainee in our Humanitarian team since April 2011, shares her impressions of Haiti.
Haiti earthquake two years on: our response>>
As someone who had never been to Haiti, and freshly arrived from CAFOD’s London offices, the first thing that hit me when I exited the airport in Port-au-Prince wasn’t the crowd of drivers rushing up to grab the attention of the new batch of arrivals, or the heat and dust that are a complete contrast to the dreary November weather in London. It was the brightly coloured pickups, called tap-taps, which trawl up and down the roads looking for passengers.
They are a bit of a shock to the system because they are brightly painted, constantly hum with music, are always crowded, and seem to have a never-ending ability to just keep going, despite all the obvious repairs they have gone through. Anyone looking at a stationary tap-tap would have a hard time imagining them slogging up one of the many bumpy Port-au-Prince roads. And yet they do. And this pretty much reflects what it’s like in Haiti.
Children in Nan Banan camp, Port-au-Prince, singing a song they have learned about the importance of good hygiene measures and hand washing. Photo: Mike Noyes
Veolia water engineer Steve Oxtoby is working with us to set up water treatment systems in Haiti. We’re delighted to have Steve as part of our team. He is chronicling his experiences in a series of blogs. You can follow them at stevewaterforhaiti.blogspot.com
This is my first foray into blogging and will document my trip to Haiti to set up water treatment systems to help to overcome the cholera epidemic and provide clean drinking water for the people.
My mission is to travel to Haiti, to find suitable locations for small water treatment systems, set them up and train operators and attempt to promote Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) projects in conjunction with others on the team. I am going to be working with Caritas and local partners and in particular with CAFOD.