Catholic Diocese in South Sudan Raising Funds to Support War Victims in Sudan

Sister Beta Almendra, a Portuguese Comboni nun living in Wau. Credit: ACN

The Catholic Diocese of Wau in South Sudan is preparing to send a special collection to Khartoum, Sudan, to support people who continue to be affected by the ongoing war that broke out on April 15.

Sr. Beta Almendra, a member of the Comboni Missionary Sisters (CMS) serving in the South Sudanese Diocese told Catholic Pontifical and charity foundation, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) International, that the faithful in all parishes of the Diocese have been asked to give the special collection, which will be sent to Khartoum in the second week of June.

“We have organized three special collections at Masses. All the lay faithful are being asked to contribute, and then we will gather the money and send it to Khartoum in the first week of June so that we can offer real assistance to the people who stayed behind, or those who have to get out,” Sr. Almendra says in the Wednesday, May 17 report.

The CMS member says that the faithful are responding to an appeal that Bishop Matthew Remijio Adam made, calling on the South Sudanese to support their brothers and sisters suffering in Sudan.

“The Bishop asked us to help our brothers from Khartoum. He addressed the request to all of us, priests, religious, and laypeople. The message is one of solidarity with Khartoum and with the people of Khartoum,” she says.


More than a million people have reportedly been displaced by fighting in Sudan as fighting rages on between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) under General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the paramilitary force under General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo.

The latest figure includes some 843,000 people displaced internally and around 250,000 people who have fled across Sudan's borders to other countries including Ethiopia, Egypt, Chad, and South Sudan.

Even though Sudan and South Sudan separated in July 2011 after decades of war, many South Sudanese remained in Sudan, and those in South Sudan have relatives Sudan, including the capital, Khartoum, which has been rocked by a violent conflict.

In the ACN report, Sr. Almendra notes that despite decades of violent conflict, Sudan and South Sudan, as neighboring countries, have their populations sharing some commonalities.  

Because of this relationship, the Catholic Church in South Sudan is preparing to host refugees from the current civil war, she says, hinting to the appeal that the Catholic Archbishop of Juba has made for South Sudanese “to open the doors” for those fleeing the violence in Sudan.

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“When we say that South Sudan is the youngest country in the world, it is because it only became independent in 2011. But the people are the same as before, and they all have relatives in Khartoum. We are constantly asking them how they are, if they have managed to leave the country, can they make it to South Sudan?” Sr. Almendra says.

The native of Portugal who arrived in Wau Diocese in early 2021 after serving in neighboring Kenya for six years says that it is the poorest who are affected by the ongoing violent conflict in Sudan, as they are forced to walk on foot over long distances in search for safety.

“Anybody who had money, or some savings, managed to get out by car or by airplane. All the rest had to leave on foot, and it can take months for them to reach safe places, such as Wau, for example, where we are expecting them and ready to welcome them,” the Catholic Nun says.

Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Master of Arts in Digital Journalism from the Aga Khan University, Graduate School of Media and Communications and a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.