Physically ill from trauma and stress. Unable to care for herself, let alone the nine children depending on her. Far from rest, far from home, far from hope.
Rachel (pictured) was a successful farmer, able to earn an income and support her family with nutritious food. All of her children were in school. But that was before they were forced to flee their home in war-ravaged South Sudan, where ongoing conflict has shattered lives and people’s ability to live and work together with peace and security.
Rachel and her children – six of her own and three from family members who had been killed – walked for three days to the Ugandan border. She still doesn’t know what happened to her husband.
Rachel and her children escaped one hard place to find themselves in another. Even in the relative safety of a refugee settlement in northern Uganda, the trauma and isolation of their situation remained. Rachel became physically sick with worry, plagued with the memories of what she had seen and the fear that she would never recover.
Right now, there are places around our world where people like Rachel are burdened by the most severe aspects of poverty and injustice. Places where people face not only a lack of food or income, but oppression, religious persecution, discrimination, displacement, violence and exploitation.
At TEAR, we call these the hard places. Yet these are exactly the types of places where we are called to bring hope and be God’s salt and light. We follow the example of Jesus, whose ministry went beyond the people and places seen as comfortable, popular or easy. Motivated by Jesus’ own presence and ministry in hard places, we work with courageous local Christian partners who are present with communities as they work towards hope and transformation in the face of incredible hardship.
With your support, we can see hope restored, even in hard places.
Despite experiencing severe adversity, Rachel and her children are incredibly resilient. Through the support of Tutapona, our Christian partner working in the refugee settlement, Rachel has begun a journey of healing. When she joined Tutapona’s trauma rehabilitation program, Rachel encountered hope, grew in courage, and took steps of forgiveness – building a strong foundation from which she has been able to confidently support her family, and others in the community.
Like you, we yearn for more stories like Rachel’s. To see those carrying burdens of suffering, isolation and uncertainty be lifted with hope and the opportunity to flourish again. Hope in hard places is powerful. And we passionately believe it is possible.
We need your gift today, so that more people living in hard places can experience hope and healing.
TEAR works with courageous and faithful partners in six out of ten of the world’s most hostile countries for minority groups to live in^.
The majority of TEAR Australia’s international program work with our partners is based in what could be considered ‘hard places’ – and we are committed to increasing this in the next three years. This means exploring new partnerships, being prepared for complexity, and wisely encountering instability and risk. It means more prayer and dependence on God. It means inviting you, our faithful supporters, to courageously support work that may cost more, be harder to measure or slower to complete.
Your donation to TEAR Australia’s Hard Places Appeal will mean that we can continue to support partners in places like Somalia, Afghanistan and South Sudan, where long-term funding is unpredictable and program work is laden with challenges. This funding helps our courageous local partners to reach people and places where assistance is sorely needed and often where few other agencies are working.
^ According to research from Minority Right Group International.
I pray that [this work] can continue helping and reaching those that are not reached yet.
Your gift to TEAR Australia’s Hard Places Appeal will be used to support a number of our partners working tirelessly for hope and transformation in communities in Afghanistan, South Sudan and Somalia:
Afghanistan is considered one of the most fragile countries in the world, made vulnerable by decades of conflict, natural disasters, corruption, low levels of education and poor healthcare. Women in Afghanistan experience significant oppression and are often vulnerable to gender-based violence, child marriage and isolation within their own homes and communities. Around 75% of the population lives rurally, lacking access to basic services and infrastructure.
TEAR Australia currently supports four partners in Afghanistan, focusing on:
South Sudan has a long history of conflict and instability, both as part of Sudan more broadly, and since becoming an independent nation in 2011. The UN estimates that more than four million people (around one third of the population) are internally displaced, or have become refugees in neighbouring countries. Many aspects of daily life, and access to basic services like health and education, have been impacted by poor governance, lack of resources, negative cultural beliefs and weak economic institutions. A significant majority of men and women are illiterate, and half of the total population live below the poverty line.
TEAR Australia currently supports two partners in South Sudan, and another partner in Uganda working to support refugees from South Sudan. Our local partners focus on a broad range of issues including:
For the last thirty years or so, Somalia has been in a state of crisis, suffering from long-term conflict and political instability, as well as consecutive seasons of no or low rains. The number of people facing severe food insecurity is growing rapidly, having serious and widespread impacts on health and nutrition, income and livelihoods, migration and sanitation. With more than 2 million people living under very basic conditions in Internally Displaced People camps, disease outbreaks are common and the humanitarian situation remains volatile.
TEAR Australia currently supports one partner in Somalia, and another partner in Ethiopia working to support displaced people from Somalia. Our partner has been active in Somalia for 25 years, and is providing access to critical nutritional and health care especially for mothers and infants; access to clean water and sanitation; and responding to disease outbreaks.