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On a lucky day, Angelina eats flour with water in South Sudan

“At least in Sudan I could do something with my hands, take care of myself and my family and make something of my life,” says Angelina Adel in South Sudan, who fled the war in Sudan with her seven children. “Now, receiving help is my only hope.”


Angelina fled the war in Sudan

‘Receiving help is my only hope’

“Today is an unlucky day,” says forty-year-old Angelina Adel, mother of seven children. “Just like yesterday.” She was unable to sell the wood she gathered for approximately 0.40 euro cents. And so today the family eats leaves from the tree, which Angelina cooks into a sauce.

On lucky days she can buy a cup of flour, which she prepares for her family with salty water. Every day it is a struggle to feed herself and her children. Angelina never expected to find herself in such a dire situation in her home country South Sudan. She had a relatively good life with her husband in Sudan. Until war broke out there in April last year.


Angelina was about 28 years old when she emigrated to Sudan from their home country South Sudan with her husband and then four children. South Sudan did not seem to be the right place for them because they had no livestock and few opportunities to earn a living. Although this meant leaving their families behind, they left for Sudan determined to build a better future for themselves and their children.

It seemed to be a good decision. Angelina started a successful business brewing white wine from sorghum. Her husband worked as a cook in a restaurant. Together they were able to provide for their growing family. Their youngest three children were born in Sudan. Now they have four girls and three boys, ranging in age from 6 to 25. The eldest son suffers from psychological problems and needs extra care and attention.



Their lives were turned upside down when war broke out in Sudan in April 2023. The violence and insecurity mounted until the traumatic event when a targeted attack by the paramilitaries hit their village. They went from house to house killing and plundering. There was a lot of chaos and the unarmed population ran in all direction in an attempt to escape.

That day in December 2023 was the last time Angelina saw her husband. He was in the field and was most likely killed there, just like Angelina's sister, who had also emigrated to Sudan. She was murdered in her home.



conflict. After several very difficult months, her village was targeted again. This time by aerial bombardment. To make matters worse, her second son was now fifteen years old and stronger, putting him at serious risk of being forcibly recruited by the army.

As the planes flew overhead, Angelina came to the conclusion that she had little choice but to leave everything behind and return to her native South Sudan. She immediately sold all her possessions, her two beds, a valuable pan, her cups and cutlery. Due to the haste, she was unable to negotiate a fair price. She took whatever anyone wanted to give her to make the trip, with three trucks.


Collecting wood

They are safe in South Sudan, yes. But it is terribly difficult for Angelina and her children to stay alive. Upon arrival, she discovered that her parents had died. Her two remaining sisters were now married and had left the village.

Someone in the village offered her and her children a guest room of just 6 square meters. From that small room, Angelina now goes out every day to collect wood in the forest. She then walks with it on her head for hours, to the centre of Wanyjok village, in the hope of selling it.


When she succeeds, she will receive no more than 1,000 South Sudanese pounds for it: about 0.40 euro cents. “But it's all I can carry,” she says, pointing to her head. “At least in Sudan I could do something with my hands, take care of myself and my family and make something of my life. Now receiving help is my only hope.”

Together with Dorcas and other partner organisations, ZOA provides food and money for 20,000 people. Most of them, like Angelina, are South Sudanese fleeing the war in Sudan. Will you provide support together with ZOA? 

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