July 27, 2015
By Simon Chambers
When Rose Apol fled from her home in Malakal, South Sudan, she didn’t know what would happen. She trusted that she would be able to get to her family in Mundri, South Sudan. After a month of walking, often with no food or even water, she arrived in Mundri, where she received aid from PWRDF and the Canadian Foodgrains Bank through the Mundri Relief and Development Agency (MRDA), a local partner distributing food, seed, and farm tools to people like Rose who were settling in the area after being forced to flee the violence in other parts of their country.
Through PWRDF’s project with MRDA, which was supported by funds form the Government of Canada through the Foodgrains Bank, Rose was able to grow crops to support herself and her children. Here is her story:
When the fighting began in Malakal, people were dying all around. I was afraid, for myself and my children, so we decided to leave and try to come to Mundri, where my brother lives. It took us a month to get here, usually walking every day from sunrise to sunset. Often there was no food, and sometimes not even any water. We were just barely surviving. Everyone was afraid. If you saw another person, you might run away because you were afraid of everyone. We walked and walked. Finally we found a truck that took us to a river, where we rode a boat to the other side, and found a truck that brought us to Mundri.
I don’t want to return to Malakal as long as the war goes on there. Here I am among my relatives, and if I run out of food my relatives will help me.
I also got food and some tools from the MRDA. The problem was finding land where I could plant crops. My brother gave me the use of some land, but it’s far away, you have to get up early and walk two hours to get there. I planted corn, peanuts, and beans. Some of the food we ate, and some I sold in order to buy things like soap and clothing for my children. There’s not enough food, but it has helped.
These are the peanuts I grew. I want to thank the people in Canada who helped us, who supported us through this crisis. It was a terrible time that we passed through, but the food helped us survive. I hope you can continue to help us.