Jacqueline Abitu is jumping rope with her friends. Her grin spreads from ear to ear, her tiny 5-year-old frame flying higher with each leap. It could be the scene taken from any happy childhood.
But Jacqueline lives in the Palabek Refugee Settlement in northern Uganda, where she along with more than 2.5 million people from South Sudan have fled from their homes in search of safe haven from war, violence and widespread food shortages. The Palabek settlement opened in December 2017 and is now home to more than 65,000 refugees. While there are moments of happiness in Jacqueline’s childhood — kids can find joy in just about any situation — she has seen far more tragedy than her young age warrants.
Life in Palabek is tough. Most of the refugees live from hand to mouth, having lost everything when they fled.
Transforming lives through your love
But even amid tragedy, your love is transforming lives. Because of your support, Lutheran World Relief is helping refugee families like Jacqueline’s to diversify their diets and increase their incomes through farming.
They receive high-quality seeds, seeds that grow quickly and are high yielding. As a result, the refugees are growing sweet potatoes, peas, beans, onions, and tomatoes as well as okra, which is quickly becoming a main income earner in their communities.
Empowering refugees to succeed
This has allowed our neighbors to grow their own food instead of relying on limited food rations and sell the extra for income, further allowing them to provide for their families. Your kindness also trains them in resilient agricultural practices and supplies much-needed farming tools.
And the project potential is growing unexpectedly. With high demand for okra both nationally and internationally, farmer groups have formed among the refugees and local farmers to focus on okra production. The local government has asked Lutheran World Relief to further support farmers to produce the vegetable and a Turkish company has already expressed interest in buying up to 500 metric tons of okra.
There is still so much need
These incredible successes are made possible only through the generous hearts of our donors. But there are so many other families like Jacqueline’s that still struggle desperately, praying for someone to lend them a helping hand. Will you give today to reach even more of our neighbors in need? We can’t do it without you.
Until your love reaches every neighbor.