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Tag Archives: War and conflict

South Sudan: An invitation to pray

South Sudan: An invitation to pray | World Vision Blog

Dr. Joel Smith spoon feeds a starving baby in a World Vision feeding center. (Photo: 1998 Jon Warren/World Vision)

After a severe famine in 1998 and a 2011 war for independence, the people of the new South Sudan remain in extreme vulnerability through renewed conflict and food insecurity.

On Sunday, our writer/photographer team Kari Costanza and Jon Warren fly to Juba to visit our work among the families displaced by conflict.

See what they're expecting and hoping to find on this visit, and how you can help support them.

The faces that stay with you

The faces that stay with you | World Vision Blog

Syrian refugee Ghaziyye with her one of her 4-year-old twin daughters in Lebanon. (Photo: 2013 Lauren Fisher/World Vision)

13-year-old Oujelan. Ghaziyye and her twin girls. 4-year-old Saad, who's forgotten how to play—these are some of the faces that have stayed with today's writer, Lauren Fisher, who visited Lebanon a year ago.

Today, Lauren reflects on the people she met and celebrates the ways that World Vision's work with the Syrian refugees has helped them and many more, and continues.

Children suffer most in South Sudan

Children suffer most in South Sudan | World Vision Blog

As conflict ravages South Sudan, the nation’s children are bearing the brunt of the crisis: separated from their families, hungry and malnourished, not in school, and at risk of abuse and exploitation.

Michael Arunga, World Vision emergency communications advisor for Africa, looks back at the brief history of South Sudan and reflects on how this new nation came to its current situation.

The red leather shoes

The red leather shoes | World Vision Blog

A little boy uses an old soap container to collect water at a UN base in South Sudan, where people have fled from the fighting, leaving their possessions behind. (©2014 Nadene Robertson/World Vision)

As fighting continues in South Sudan, the debris of people in flight litters the ground: suitcases, a television…a child's red leather shoes.

When families flee, children can become separated, putting them at risk of exploitation and abuse.

Read this startling testimony about what's happening and how World Vision is working to help.

South Sudan conflict: Left in danger

South Sudan conflict: The poor are left in danger | World Vision Blog

Margaret and her children at a Catholic church where they’ve taken shelter in Juba. (©2014 Nhial Wei/World Vision)

Medina and Margret are just two among hundreds of thousands in South Sudan who have been driven from their homes by the fighting that escalated last month. Left with little in a disrupted economy, they want to take their families away from the conflict but can’t afford to, leaving them to seek sanctuary wherever they can. Read the story of these two families, and learn what World Vision is doing to help.

Calling all heroes: Help the children of Syria

This month, we’re focusing on the Syrian refugee crisis and connecting it to our global #Dreamshare campaign -- asking our friends and supporters to visit the campaign site and share their dreams for the future of Syria and its people and refugees.

Jonathan Lo with the social media team talks about the dreams that the refugee children of Syria have for their own futures…and why they need some real-life heroes.

Crisis in Syria, part 4: Education brings hope to refugee children

Today's post -- the fourth in our weekly series about the Syrian conflict and refugee crisis -- is the story of an 8-year-old Syrian girl, Jouri, who loves learning but can't go to school in Lebanon. But now, having been enrolled in a World Vision education program, Jouri has hope.

If you missed them, check out the first, second, and third posts from this series.

Crisis in Syria, part 2: Refugees in Jordan

Last week, we launched a weekly series about the two-year conflict in Syria. Check out the first post by Andrea Peer if you missed it. Every Wednesday for the next several weeks, we’ll have a new story or perspective on the crisis.

In today's post by World Vision's Michael Bailey: A father struggles to find work and enough food to feed his family. A mother longs to hear from her 20-year-old son living in the war zone. Children sit and wait, idly passing hours and days, dreaming of going home to be with friends.

Crisis in Syria, part 1: Memories of summer camp

Today, we're kicking off a weekly series about the two-year conflict in Syria and the region's subsequent refugee crisis. Every Wednesday for the next several weeks, we'll have a new story or perspective on this situation, so check back!

Today's post is by Andrea Peer, World Vision communications manager, who remembers a different Syria from a visit 11 years ago -- and wonders about its future.

Syrian refugee crisis: Moved to prayer

You won't hear much in the media about the conflict in Syria -- but it's causing significant human suffering that warrants our attention and prayer.

As the crisis approaches its second anniversary, the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, and Egypt is quickly approaching 1 million.

Here are some ways that you can pray for all the people affected as the unrest continues.

A burden that children should never have to bear

An 8-year-old Syrian refugee child named Layla* shares, “I saw my cousin dying in front of me, so I always see this scene in front of my eyes.”

As children all over North America happily rummage through the cheerful remains of Christmas Day’s joys -- festive gift wrap strewn about, the latest version of Halo blaring from 40-inch television screens -- the existence of Syrian children presently seeking refuge in Lebanon is one far less carefree.

In this season of joy, it’s difficult to fathom that at least 66,000 children like Layla are coping with the loss of home and childhood as their families struggle to survive the displacement of war and onset of a cold, snowy winter in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.

Aid worker's diary: A cry for Goma

Congolese walk to a refugee camp in Gisenye, Rwanda. (2012 Reuters/James Akena, courtesy the Thomson Reuters Foundation – AlertNet).

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Rebel forces overtook Goma, the largest city in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), on November 20, forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee for safety.

Much of the country and its borders are now under the control of this rebel group, known as the M23 rebels,  and the situation remains tense.

World Vision evacuated its staff to Gisenyi, Rwanda. Aimee Manimani, a World Vision aid worker in the DRC, shares her thoughts and feelings on leaving the city of Goma.

Why did I pray?

World Vision's Kari Costanza traveled to Rwanda, where she met Solange, whose life was turned upside-down in a short period of time.

Fighting caused Solange and her family flee their home in the Democratic Republic of Congo. After arriving in Kiegeme refugee camp, Solange lost her 3-year-old daughter, Rebecca.

Kari met Solange in a hospital, where she was staying with her baby, Esther. Kari shares her thoughts on meeting Solange and Esther -- and the tragic news she received after returning to the United States.

In South Sudan, a connection between conflict and hunger

With more food on the planet than ever before, it's difficult to believe that people still go hungry every day. You might assume that natural disasters, drought, or a lack of access to necessary farming equipment are to blame for a lack of food. What may surprise you, though, is that conflict is a leading cause of hunger.

Currently, conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is causing food shortages affecting millions, leaving children most vulnerable. While it is easy to see the role that a natural disaster or drought plays in hunger, the connection between conflict and hunger can be complicated. To make this complex issue easier to understand, World Vision's James Addis outlines some key questions below.