The visit of Pope Francis to South Sudan has social and political impact on the lives of the South Sudanese community. For us. as Jesuit Refugee Service, it’s a blessing to have His Holiness visiting the youngest nation in the world, a nation that has not seen peace for years even after its independence. As we continue to accompany and serve refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs), His visit will give hope to thousands of people in the biggest refugee settlement in South Sudan, Maban, in the Upper Nile States, and Western Equatoria.
JRS South Sudan and the community in Maban received the Vatican representative in November 2022 ahead of the pope’s visit to South Sudan. Msgr lound Paul, with Bishop Danial visited the refugee camps and the JRS daycare center in Doro, where he witnessed JRS staff performing their activities with children with special needs, sports activities with youth and women groups, and the faithful in Nella, tens of kilometers from the town of Bunj, in Maban county. The guests were accompanied by JRS staff, church leaders, and the women’s group of St. Mark parish. The faithful in Maban work together with the community, which puts JRS in a unique position because its pastoral service keeps the community hopeful and always connected to God, especially at difficult times.
During the flooding in Maban, our pastoral and psychosocial support teams, together with the church council and the women’s group from the St. Mark parish, carried out a flood response, supporting the affected communities in Maban with food items and plastic sheets, and mosquito nets for the most vulnerable people.
As we continue campaigning for refugees and vulnerable people in South Sudan, we are committed to fostering faith, hope, and peace for thousands of refugee communities and IDPs. Through our pastoral program we plant the spirit of unity, peace, and hope among communities in times of conflict and displacement.