Peter – PWRDF

Mundri, Western Equatoria, South Sudan. Photo/Paul Jeffrey

When South Sudan’s civil war broke out in Juba in December 2013, 19-year-old Peter Frisus fled from the violence in his homeland. The fighting displaced Peter and more than a million of his fellow South Sudanese. He eventually settled in Mundri, a region of South Sudan that was not experiencing violence. He has survived there thanks to the hospitality of his relatives, along with food and agricultural tools provided by the Mundri Relief and Development Association, which is supported by the Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund. PWRDF, working with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and with funding from the Government of Canada, had a project in Mundri to provide seeds and tools to displaced families, as well as food for several months while their new crops were growing. Peter’s uncle let him use some land to farm peanuts and corn and he displays some of the peanuts he harvested. Here is Peter’s story:

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JJ – The BRIDGE Prison Ministry

The BRIDGE Group (800x473)JJ finds stability and a caring network through his involvement in The BRIDGE. “Everyone in this group is accountable to each other. I can see where I would have gone without someone to look after me. This is a positive environment that helps me to have hope that my dreams can come true.” I asked JJ to describe his dream for the future. He told me that we would someday like to have “a small farm, a place of my own, maybe a few chickens.” Considering how far JJ has come in his journey, he just may find that one day, his dream will come true.

Jordan – The BRIDGE Prison Ministry

The BRIDGE Group (800x473)“I’ve been coming to The BRIDGE on and off for about 5 years. It helps me with my struggles, with relationships and addictions. I know that Garry (Glowacki, Executive Director) and Mark (The Rev. Mark Stephen – Community Worker) are right by my side. They are there for me and I’ve grown healthier mentally, emotionally and physically. I’m developing the confidence to take new steps forward in my recovery with the support of the BRIDGE.” Jordan insists that The BRIDGE is different from other reintegration programs that he’s tried. “All of the guys have their own struggles but we are all in this together. There is a real credibility in this group because we can all relate to one another. It’s hard to relate to a social worker who hasn’t had the same kind of experiences.”

Steve – The BRIDGE Prison Ministry

The BRIDGE Group (800x473)Steve has been a volunteer with The BRIDGE Prison Ministry’s Wednesday night group for ex-offenders for about two years. “I’m a local resident and I wanted to find a way to give back to my community. Being a volunteer is important in both my personal and professional life. Volunteering with The BRIDGE has been an incredibly humbling experience, too. Although I haven’t had the same life experiences, I have similar thoughts and feelings to those being expressed by other members of the group. I feel like I get a lot more out of coming here than I give back. These Wednesday night sessions are very important to me. I see my friends, my family.”