Sisters of congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SSH) in South Sudan have embarked on agriculture to produce enough food for the needy especially the different religious community in South Sudan.
The Superior General, Sr. Dr. Alice Jurugo Drajea said they partnered with United Nations development agencies to facilitate food production to reach out to the deprived in the East-Central African country.
“We are collaborating with development agencies like World Food Program (WFP) and FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). I know WFP is known for giving food to people, but I approached them to facilitate us to produce food, not to provide food,” Sr. Dr. Alice explained.
She termed their partnership as a great collaboration of organizations, and added the WFP and FAO have assisted them by giving seeds, tools, and other items like gumboots, empty bags and transporting produce like sesame from the farm to their house.
The Superior General stressed that when she went to the warehouse to collect seeds from FAO, they gave her 20 gumboots, 40 hoes and now they are looking forward to receive the two-sided hoes for weeding.
“We have now planted groundnuts, sesame, finger millet, sorghum and a lot of greens that are ready for picking in the field,” the Rev. Sister noted.
She however regretted that the indigenous people have been reluctant to join the Sisters in their farming initiative saying.
“I find the attitude of people not doing garden work as unfortunate and that is why we the Sisters come and do it physically, by ourselves. We have been trying to dig by ourselves because there are no people and the tractor cannot come here because of a lot of trees. We have been looking for caterpillars that can come and uproot for us the trees but found none,” Sr. Alice said.
She encouraged South Sudanese to engage in farming adding that the country is blessed with fertile soil, which is rich for agriculture, everybody should utilize the gift of God.
Sr. Alice Jurugo Drajea a Ugandan born, holds doctorate in Education but now embraces farming as she continues to do her ministerial work in South Sudan.
She continued, “We want people to know that as Sisters we are not set apart in a different world but we are here in touch with them; we can produce food instead of going to the World Food Program asking for food.”