CRS in Sudan

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Sudan: Does One Life Matter?

Ever look out over the unending troubles and needs of the world and ask: What can one person do? Seriously … what can one person do?

Ceilia Abel is a community leader in Olikwi Village in Nimule.

Ceilia Abel is a community leader in Olikwi Village in Nimule, a town just across the Nile from Uganda where many Sudanese fled during the last civil war. Many have returned, begun rebuilding their lives, only to face the possibility of renewed fighting after the January referendum. Photo by Karen Kasmauski for CRS

The answer to that question may lie in another question: What does one person matter?

On January 9, southern Sudanese voters will decide in a referendum to remain unified with northern Sudan or create a new African nation. Realistically, the very best conceivable outcome would be that the Sudanese face arduous years of rebuilding political, social and economic institutions while they live free of war and intertribal violence. The worst case lies somewhere beyond imagining.

No nation has ever faced what Sudan is facing without violent struggle. In the case of Sudan, what the Church is hoping to do is avoid all-out disaster.

Under the direction of the Church in Sudan and bishops in the United States, CRS has undertaken an unprecedented response in reaction to an unprecedented opportunity. We can see the disaster coming. And we can see a way to prevent the worst of it.

CRS has joined the Church in an ambitious peacebuilding campaign that looks at specific ways to reduce conflicts before they become violent. The sense of urgency in the work increases as the referendum date approaches.

Will our work help everyone in southern Sudan? Probably not. But we're not asking: "Can we help everyone in Sudan?" We're asking: "If there is a person in Sudan we can help, should we? Will we?"

We should. We will. And we can help more if you come with us. Come and give even one person water if he's thirsty, food if she's hungry, a roof over one family's head. Help remove just one obstacle to peace.

We offer four ways to help through CRS: Pray, Learn, Act, Give.

There's a lot of trouble in the world. Sudan has more than its share of it. But you can help. And even if it's just one life, that one life matters. How much? Well, ask yourself this: What if that life were mine?

Pray, Learn, Act, Give.

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