On July 9, 2011, South Sudan officially gained its independence from Sudan. The young nation’s brief history has been a tumultuous one. Since December of 2013, South Sudan has been embroiled in a bitter civil war between the Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups. Thousands have already perished, and the violence persists despite an official cease-fire.
In addition to loss of life, approximately 1.1 million South Sudanese have been forced to flee from their homes to refugee camps, such as those in the Gambella region of western Ethiopia. These refugees have also been cut off from food and other vital resources. Livestock has been lost, and farmers have been unable to plant and harvest crops due to the ongoing fighting. In fact, The United Nations considers South Sudan’s current situation the “worst in the world” when it comes to food. By the end of the year, it is estimated that 235,000 child refugees could be facing malnourishment, and 50,000 of them could die from starvation.
With other world events occupying the vast majority of the media’s attention, the plight of the South Sudanese refugees has not received the attention that it warrants, and therefore they are not getting all of the help they need. That is where organizations like the Humanity Helping Sudan Project come in.
The Humanity Helping Sudan Project (HHSP) works to “help refugees help themselves” by providing equipment and supplies that they can use to sustain themselves in the refugee camps, such as fishing nets, chicken farms and wells for drinking water. Manyang Reath Kher, a Gambella refugee and University of Richmond alumnus, founded HHSP in 2008. Over the past six years, the organization has garnered support from several sponsors, most notably VH1, Whole Foods Market, Allegro Coffee, and the American Red Cross. HHSP is also a certified non-government organization, or NGO.
To aid the 50,000 at-risk child refugees and bring attention to the ongoing famine in South Sudan, Humanity Helping Sudan Project is launching the FEED50K campaign. The goal of the campaign is to raise at least $50,000 — one dollar per fishing net — to go towards promoting sustainability and growth within the camps instead of simply solving immediate hunger. The campaign will take place primarily through social media websites such as Facebook,
Twitter, and Instagram using the simple statement #FEED50k.