Ox plough project
Shelswell Benefice supports the Ox Plough Project
A bit about Wulu
Wulu Town is 21 miles south of Rumbek in South Sudan. The roads are not tarmacked and deteriorate badly in the rainy season. So 21 miles will generally take a couple of hours by car.
Following the peace agreement ending the Second Sudanese Civil War, the Sudanese People's Liberation Movement chose Rumbek to serve as the temporary administrative centre of the Government of Southern Sudan. Juba is now the capital. It is a two day journey by road
Wulu is about here!
According to the 2008 census, the population of Wulu is about 40,550. The people are mainly from the Jur - Bëlï, a minority tribe in South Sudan. They are an agricultural people, living in scattered forest land. There are 5 main languages.
The area is well served by rivers: River Rua in the west, Wako in the South and Barnaam in the east. The rivers have a plentiful water supply throughout the year, which has enabled large human populations crowded into small farming hamlets scattered all over the area. Across the area there is a range of roads in the Wulu Diocese, different types of land including woodland savanna, grass lands and swamps.
Wulu is a young diocese which was inaugurated on 29th July 2018 and it covers a large area. The Ox Plough project is based in Domoloto, an area 23 miles south of Wulu town. The Diocese has 5 archdeaconries with 28 parishes and 12 sub-parishes. There are 22 pastors and 18 deacons working full time on a voluntary basis.
There is only one church building in the Diocese that is built of brick and this has now become the cathedral for the Diocese. Some churches meet under a roof of grass thatching, but most meet under trees.
Bishop Zechariah says that they thank God for giving them good trees! He says that it does not matter where the church meets, but that they are able to deliver God’s services to his people.
In addition to the Domoloto Women’s Farming Project, Wulu Diocese has a number of projects that it hopes to complete over the next five years:
- Girls Primary School – although there is a small primary school for girls in Wulu, which was established by a charity in 2005, most of the girls drop out either as a result of early marriage or because their family cannot afford the costs. Bishop Zechariah would like to improve the standard of girls’ education in Wulu Diocese, and indeed to improve the quality of education for the Jur ꞌbëlï community as whole. He would like to eliminate child marriage, and maintain the child’s right for education, regardless of sex.
- Bible School – Bishop Zechariah says that many priests are not preaching well because they have had little theological training. (Indeed many priests, like most of their contemporaries, missed out on primary school education because of the civil war).
- Maternal and Neonatal Health Facility - South Sudan has one of the highest maternal mortality rate in the world, at 2,045 per 100,000 live births, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). A girl is more likely to die in child birth than finish secondary school.
- Peace, Reconciliation and Healing – many families are scarred by the trauma of 25 years of civil war, and conflict between families is very common.
- Vocational Training Centre – with much of the infrastructure damaged through the civil war, and the South Sudanese government struggling, there are limited employment opportunities. Teachers, soldiers and prison officers, although employed by the Government, are often not paid. Much of the tribal violence is carried out by young men with little purpose in life.
In a recent email, Bishop Zechariah says: “I really appreciate and thank you very much for the support you are giving to our women’s groups. The amount mentioned is big and much helpful to us if God adds his blessing to it.”
He then goes on to ask us to advocate and lobby for more friends to support the other projects that they would like to undertake. “We have nobody to do this for us!”, he says. So if you do happen to know of an individual, business, or Trust that would like to make a significant impact, do put in a word!