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SUDAN: Salesians impacted by fighting in Khartoum

Salesian missionaries in South Sudan welcome refugees


(MissionNewswire) Salesian missionaries in Kuajok, South Sudan*, have opened their doors to welcome refugees from the ongoing war in Sudan*. The war started on April 15 in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, and since that time people have been fleeing the country in search of safety. While estimates vary, an ACN article noted that according to U.N. special envoy for Sudan Volker Perthes, at least 5,000 people have been killed, and over 12,000 wounded since the conflict started.

Salesians in South Sudan have been responding to refugee needs and providing primary school to children. Salesians have been in Kuajok since 2018, taking care of street children and running a primary school.

While refugees have fled, Salesian missionaries and sisters have remained in Khartoum. The Dar Mariam Mission was struck on Nov. 3 with the bomb blasting the building’s second floor. The building houses children and women, including five Salesian sisters.

No one was killed in the blast, but one young mother and her two children, aged 7 and 4, received minor head wounds. All those who required medical treatment have been released from the hospital. Father Jacob Thelekkadan, the resident priest, explained that the women and children were on the ground floor at the time.

The floor, which sustained most of the damage, houses most of the bedrooms. Fr. Thelekkadan told ACN that the bomb broke in two when it hit the building, causing two explosions. “The first part of the bomb shattered a teacher’s room, hurting him on both his legs, but not very seriously. The second part of the bomb shattered the two rooms of the sisters and their room doors flew off and fell a meter away.”

Before the fighting broke out, Fr. Thelekkadan was in charge of St Joseph’s Vocational Center in Khartoum, which has since closed because of heavy fighting. He remained to support the Salesian sisters, who are looking after women and children, as well as the elderly and sick. Salesian sisters will continue to monitor the situation and do what they can for those most in need.

With more than 36% of its population living in poverty, Sudan is one of the poorest countries in the world, according to UNICEF. Low incomes and food deficiencies are common, and ongoing violence and civil unrest exacerbate already harsh conditions. Despite these challenges, more youth are in school today than ever before. There remain, however, some 3.2 million children between the ages of 6-16 out of school with the highest rates among nomadic populations, those living in rural areas and in the poorest households.



ANS Photo (usage permissions and guidelines must be requested from ANS) 

ACN United Kingdom – SUDAN: Missile hits Sisters’ house

ANS – South Sudan – The Don Bosco mission in Kuajok opens its doors to refugees from Sudan

Salesian Missions – Sudan

UNICEF – Sudan

*Any goods, services, or funds provided by Salesian Missions to programs located in this country were administered in compliance with applicable laws and regulations, including sanctions administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control.

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