An Appeal Letter from the Bishop of Salisbury
From the Bishop of Salisbury: I am writing to you because I know that, like me, you will be shocked to hear about what our brothers and sisters are facing in Sudan and South Sudan, especially as our partnership with them has been close and deep for over half a century. As you may have already read, the very real issues of starvation and a lack of basic hygiene that people in the Sudans face every day are now providing a perfect storm for Covid-19. Successfully fighting this pandemic with the minimum of resources available in both countries will prove very difficult, if not impossible. This is why I have launched my Diocesan-wide Emergency Appeal that will run through July. So far people have responded generously. As of this morning, 13th July, we have raised over £15,000. I hope we will raise in excess of £50,000 to provide help where it is most needed, and I wonder if I can count on your help to do this? In the north, in Sudan the collapsing economy and the constant threat of violence has left people starving to death and I was shocked when Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo in Khartoum made the distressing comment: ‘They would rather die of Covid-19 than hunger’. I cannot begin to image having to make that choice, can you? In South Sudan, they really need improved hygiene. Without basics like access to fresh water, cleaning and sanitising products they cannot begin to stave off the virus, especially when their population is also severely weakened by famine. It’s hard to imagine facing this terrible pandemic without access to the hand washing facilities that we take for granted. I know that as a Diocese we have our own financial needs as a result of the Lockdown and we will seek to address these in the autumn, but the need is Sudan is even more pressing. So where will your money go? Well, we will divide our help equally between the two Provinces working with our trusted Church partners who are best placed to offer the support needed. In South Sudan we are working with SSUDRA - the Episcopal Church’s Relief and Development arm to radically improve sanitation levels by the local provision of soap and water supplies. While In Sudan the first priority will be to get basic food items to those who need it and so we will be liaising directly with Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo. So in a nutshell our emergency appeal is for SOAP and FOOD, soap being everything linked to improved hygiene which is just as important as food in fighting Covid-19. They both seem such simple requests, but the need for them is immense. I hope you will be willing to give a donation and you can do this via our Just Giving page at https://bit.ly/sudansemergency Or you can send a cheque made payable to “Salisbury DBF” marking the back “Sudan Appeal and sent it to Church House 99 Crane St, Salisbury SP1 2QB However you give, I want to say thank you for your generosity to those who are in real need at this time.