We are extremely grateful for the continued fruitfulness of Manna Mircrofinance (MM) throughout the fighting in South Sudan. 37 groups comprising of almost 300 members, continue to run and make loan repayments. This is extremely unusual in times of conflict, but demonstrates the determination of the Sudanese people and the effectiveness of working through the Church.
AID’s microenterprise development project, Manna Microfinance, has been ongoing for over 3 years now and, in spite of the recent violence, the programme is on track to help more people this year than ever before.
Our local staff – Stella, Nancy & new recruits Felista & Susan – are still smiling and still enjoying meeting with and training their clients. Some self-help group members returned to their villages outside Juba as the violence started but have continued to make group meetings once a week and make repayments because they really value being members of their groups.
Normally when conflict occurs, microenterprise development projects struggle to survive. However, Manna’s partnership with the Episcopal Church of the Sudan has reassured people that it will continue. The Bridge Foundation, Manna’s implementing partner agency, says that this is something that they have never seen before; a programme moving forward even as fighting is ongoing! At AID, we thank God for the determination of all involved to make sure Manna continues.
Amid the disruption, some heart-warming stories have emerged. A lady in one of Stella’s groups (called Holy 2), faced with her business being destroyed in the fighting, was helped out by the rest of her group. They clubbed together to repay her loan and, on top of that, gave her some almonds to sell on her rebuilt market stall! Just one of the inspirational things showing that the South Sudanese are determined to move forward as life gets back to normal.
Thanks to all our supporters for helping to make this happen! To enable Manna Microfinance help even more people in Juba, please donate!