Achol

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Members of Moses’ extended family came to the clinic in the morning with his lovely sister, Achol, who is 14 and will start class five in January.

Moses’ Uncle Kon told us he would be gifting us a goat. Though they have no food except what they can gather or hunt, they won’t share in the feast with us. Instead, we will share it with the clinic staff. The goat is borrowed.

There is a tremendous shortage of food in the village. Though I saw flourishing crops of sorghum and maize throughout the village, the rainy season picked up in September, and the crops were drowned out. Since people rely on these crops for their food supply, and the flooded crops also meant flooded roads, there is no way to transport food, and the few local shops have no supplies to sell. People with goats are reluctant to sell them. There are lots of cattle, but cows in Sudan are like money in the bank, parted with only for dowry payments and slaughtered only for celebrations, though families with cows enjoy milk and butter.

Though we can’t solve all the hunger problems in this village, I talked with Moses about how we could offer some help to his family. We decided to give them some money to purchase food, which will require a two-hour walk each way to Poktop where the marketplace is accessible by road.

We talked with Dau and Manyok about Moses’ sister Achol and learned she is a top student in the school. We are considering her as a candidate for our program. The family wasn’t living here when we assessed orphans in March, so she wasn’t identified. The criteria we used to select students was to choose girls from each area of Duk Payuel, not unfairly benefitting one chief or family over another. Eligible girls must be able to benefit from the program; we chose a target age of 10 to 15, but the current group ranges from seven to 16; the guardian must be willing to allow the girl to enter our program; and the girl must want to join.

If you’re interested in sponsoring Achol or one of our other girls, please email me.

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