Sudan (MNN) — After years of warfare and genocide, the country of Sudan has accrued thousands of helpless orphans and widows. The instability and violence have made it difficult and dangerous for anyone to enter Sudan to bring aid to those who are suffering. Regardless, Kids Alive International will not be deterred.
"We have three homes and schools in the north in the capital city which many of the children in Darfur are coming to. We have just recently launched the southern part of our operations where extreme poverty and suffering has gone on for years."
Al Lackey with Kids Alive says the plans that have been in the making for four years to start work in southern Sudan are finally being put into action. The goal is to serve orphans directly, as well as reaching out to widows and grandmothers who don't have the resources to support children under their care. Kids Alive has strategic plans to reach these orphans.
"Our focus is to do it through residential children's homes, care center models, reaching out into the communities, and whatever educational assistance those children need so that they become productive, godly young men and women."
In order to effectively reach kids with the Gospel without bringing outside missionaries to the country, Kids Alive has to train only those native to Sudan. Having nationals work at their facilities not only helps avoid the problem of getting people into the country, but it also utilizes people who know how to evangelize to their own culture. This is important for a ministry who keeps the Gospel at the center of its work.
"We go out and demonstrate Christ's love, and it gives us the opportunity and the right to present the gospel to those people," says Lackey.
In order to get to the point where kids can be built up in the faith, Kids Alive has begun some work in southern Sudan already. "We have a care center model and a small home of 12 children begun," says Lackey. "We started in a rented facility. We have just received the funding to purchase the land."
Once the land has been purchased, the ministry can begin building homes. Homes that house 14 children usually cost anywhere from $65,000 – $75,000 USD. Kids Alive hopes to reach 60 children in residence homes, as well as about 150 children through widows and grandmothers, within two years. Lackey says with $500,000, "we could have a full facility up and running within 24 months."
Lackey notes that the building process is lengthier than some would expect because of the training, acclamation and building that needs to be completed before a facility can run properly. Of course, the time it will take only increases the urgency of the funds needed to help these children as soon as possible.