Letter from the Executive Director – 2015

February 21, 2015
Dear Friends,

On behalf of South Sudan Voices of Hope, I want to take this opportunity to thank you for prayers and financial support over the years. South Sudan is the world’s youngest nation, gained independence from Sudan on July 9th 2011 as the outcome of a 2005 peace deal that ended Africa’s longest-running civil war. An overwhelming majority of South Sudanese voted in January 2011 referendum to secede and become Africa’s 54th State after Eritrea split from Ethiopia in 1993.

The country is comprised of 10 states of Sudan which are Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Unity, Upper Nile, Warrap, Western Bahr el Ghazal, and Western Equatoria.

South Sudan is a land of expansive grassland, swamps and tropical rain forest straddling both banks of the White Nile. It is highly diverse ethnically and linguistically with over 64 tribes.

July, 2015 South Sudan will celebrate its fourth independence anniversary. But with sovereignty came many challenges. Among these challenges have been intense political disputes. In December 2013, it exploded into full scale internal conflict that cost lives of over ten thousand people, over 1.5 million internally displaced, and over four hundred thousand fled as refugees in the surrounding countries of Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

Today there are over 3.8 million in need of humanitarian assistance according to the June 2014 U.N and European Union report. The needs are far greater for those inside the camps. The country’s available resources are stretched to the breaking point. Illiteracy and poverty are at an all-time high. Living expenses are too high since all if not most of the South Sudanese food and other basic necessities are imported from the neighbouring countries. The daily challenges facing families trying to survive each day to put food on the table, send their children to school mainly in neighboring countries if they can afford, find job to make decent living, health services, and find clean water.

This current internal strife, in addition to just ending 50 years of conflict, has left South Sudan devastated and incapacitated without a viable infrastructure to support basic needs, such as agriculture (food security), health care and education and along with poor communication, South Sudan is ill equipped to provide for its population of roughly 7 to 15 million people.
South Sudan Voices of Hope is an organization that provides humanitarian support as well as sustainable development programs. We have had a presence in South Sudan for over 7 years.

This spring, Rev. Tony Asta, Chairman of South Sudan Voices of Hope, and I will be traveling to South Sudan to start phase II of Hope Happens campus in Jambo, South Sudan.

The main project is to start establishing the South Sudan Hope Vocational training center. This is the big project to help the local community with lifelong skills like carpentry, brick making, plumbing, tailoring and electrical work. In this initial phase, we will be providing equipment and materials as a start-up of woman empowerment sustainable development project. Any financial support toward this mission would be greatly appreciated.

Finally, and most importantly, please pray for peace and stability in South Sudan, the of work of South Sudan Voices of Hope and our safety in this trip.

Financial Contributions can be made to:

South Sudan Voices of Hope
PO Box 4603, Wheaton, Ill 60189.

South Sudan Voices of Hope is a 501c3 organization. Your contribution is tax deductible.

If you have any questions or if you would like one of our staff to address your group or organization about the crisis, please contact Kenneth Elisapana at SSVOH@sbcglobal.net 773-315-5495 or Rev. Tony Asta at tonyasta@ameritech.net/708-705-8669

We are grateful for your continued support.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Kenneth Elisapana
Founder & Executive Director
501 N. Lombard Ave, Apt 2 A
Oak Park, IL 60602
ssvoh@sbcglobal.net
773-315-5495