Dear praying friend,
Media may have moved on from South Sudan, but war continues. She Is Safe remains despite the challenges, knowing that during conflict women and children bear even greater hardships. We also keep the work going because they are key to helping to stabilize families and communities.
Ever since the government conflict spiraled into civil war, headlines have shined a spotlight on South Sudan’s struggle to grow as a new nation. The destruction caused by war and the resulting displacement of people has serious negative repercussions on a nation’s economy. But a recent article by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) points out that even if there had been no war, South Sudan’s ability to prosper economically would be limited.
The overwhelming majority of South Sudan’s revenue (98%) comes from oil fields. Many of these fields are run with damaged equipment and produce less than 1/3 of their total capacity. The low quality of the oil, the heavy transportation taxation by neighboring Sudan, and the global fall in oil prices have resulted in South Sudan only profiting a few dollars per barrel.
Since the economy is based primarily on oil, South Sudan has to import food and labor from elsewhere, which has created massive trade deficits. Without sufficient revenue, the government struggles to pay its employees and to provide basic services for its people, hindering economic development. This grim economic forecast is only made worse by the ongoing war.
But there is hope in South Sudan; we’ve seen it in the faces of the women we work with, women who are starting businesses in their villages, caring for orphans and for others whose lives have been shattered by war, women who are becoming role models for their daughters and future generations.
The women of South Sudan can play a key role in re-invigorating their communities and the economy. Women tend to re-invest capital back into their households and their communities. Studies show that when women are full participants, economies grow faster (source).
Through She Is Safe Transformation Groups, we train local co-workers to lead 12-15 women to create and manage a savings and lending pool to seed micro-businesses. Members meet weekly for financial, social, and spiritual development. Transformation Group leaders also provide training in literacy, leadership, health and hygiene, vocational skills and anti-trafficking. Transformation Groups often become a force for abuse prevention, recourse and development for their entire community.
The civil war has meant that many Transformation Groups in South Sudan have to be careful about meeting publicly. But the groups are pressing on, gathering when they can, learning together, and strengthening each other through a tumultuous period in this young nation’s history.
She Is Safe is called to work in the hardest places, so we will continue to equip women in South Sudan. Your support will equip more of these courageous women to build lives, communities and faith-filled futures.
Praying for lives to flourish,
President & Founder