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Thank you to all who contributed to The Rev. Mary Bol’s early 2023 request to support South Sudanese orphans displaced by climate change-exacerbated floods. The Rev. Mary Bol serves alongside the Rev. James Ayuen at St. John’s South Sudanese congregation in Tukwila, which maintains many close connections with friends and family in South Sudan. We are full of gratitude to report that the Diocese was able to contribute roughly $2,500 towards this effort!

As Rev. Mary’s travel plans to South Sudan changed, she ensured the contributions went to support the work of Awake for Women and Children’s Empowerment (AWACE), which operates in Bor, South Sudan. Due to rising hunger and the destruction of the Planting Seeds for Tomorrow Orphanage in Juba, AWACE began serving most children from that orphanage. AWACE offers holistic community development programs that address the root causes of poverty—largely focusing on the education and empowerment of women and girls, as well as the physical and psychological healing of communities in or displaced from South Sudan. While AWACE works for long-term and local-led change, it also provides aid to children and families experiencing current crises like displacement and hunger.

The money contributed to AWACE has gone to feed 40 children: 30 orphans who live in nearby refugee camps with guardians or other family members and ten orphans who live in the host community of Bor. The AWACE director says that these provisions will last about two months. You can read more about the process of food delivery as well as testimonies from some of the children and their guardians in the Narrative Report and budget provided by AWACE. Additionally, AWACE has sent us a video of the worship service, food distribution, and tour of their compound, which can be viewed below. It’s about an hour and thirty-five minutes long, with a specific address of gratitude to the Diocese plus more stories shared beginning around the 17-minute mark or so.

Rev. Mary shares this note: “The food was distributed to 40 orphans in the care of their guardians. Thank you, all my wonderful people of the Diocese of Olympia, for fathering and mothering these children. My heart is full of joy. God is the protector of orphans, widows, and widowers. Through everyone who contributed and those who will do in the near future: thank you. By assisting these orphans, you have lent to the Lord and God will reward you. Thank you all, my generous people from the Diocese of Olympia.”

Additional donations can be made directly to AWACE here. Thank you again for your generosity, and please contact The Rev. Mary Bol if you have any additional questions.

Update on Support of South Sudanese Orphans

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