As war and conflict continues to increase and perpetuate the lives of people located in the Horn of Africa, food shortages increase in their severity.
The Salesians continue to work to provide both physical and human nourishment in Ethiopia, Gumbo (Juba, South Sudan), and Palabek Refugee Settlement – located in Uganda approximately 30km from the border of South Sudan and home to more than 76 000 refugees of South Sudanese origin.
With the Salesians residing within the settlement, they have gained the trust of those settled and acutely understand the needs of the settlement’s population. Recently, food rations, supported by the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), have decreased, but in turn further highlighted the lifegiving work of the Salesians in Palabek.
Fr. Uba, Salesian Missionary, together with the local community has established 25 farming groups, totalling 1250 people, who attend to over 92 acres of Maize, Soya Bean, and Sunflower. Whilst Maize is a diet staple of the people of Palabek – it cannot be consumed without processing.
In turn, the recent contribution by Salesian Missions to purchase a Maize Huller and Maize Miller, has been vital in aiding the food crisis. Not only is this access to physical nourishment vital, it is also providing a source of productivity and contribution for those who have been uprooted from their lives.
Fr. Uba says ‘the agriculture groups are very important because they enable those involved to contribute to their families, supplement food rations, and restore dignity’.