Extreme poverty and want have a way of turning even the greatest blessings into immense burdens. Last week, staff and management of the Humanitarian and Development Consortium responded to an urgent request for help on FM radio. A poor woman, the wife of a lowly public service official had been blessed with triplets!
Normally a cause for great celebration, the collapse in the value of the South Sudanese pound, as well as the great expense of satisfying three infants demands for milk made this blessing a greater burden than this couple could carry alone.
The widespread, public response to the case demonstrated the persistence of good neighbourliness, solidarity and generosity among South Sudanese people, even in an environment in which most people are adversely affected by the difficult economic conditions and the erosion of income value due to price inflation.
HDC staff, led by Executive Director Deng Yuott and Head of Operations Ruth Kessio visited the mother - one of a polygamous household - at her house. Showing great hospitality and strength in spite of her ordeal, she explained the pile of costs that the birth of the triplets had brought, as well as how the shift in economic conditions had put even basic shop products out of their reach as a family. She was grateful for the good health of her babies and for the warmth and attention of strangers.
HDC staff gave the family baby diapers and milk formula as well as a cash grant. Even outside of our programmes, we believe that basic human support, caring for one another in times of need is essential as we imagine and together build a new South Sudan.