Sudan (MNN) — Civil unrest has been an ongoing problem for years in Sudan, and it has left a mark on society. That mark is now affecting the future of the nation.
Matt Parker with Kids Alive International says the unrest has caused a trickledown effect. "A large portion of the population is considered now to be at risk of starvation. Food prices have risen dramatically in recent months, and overall, it's a very difficult situation."
The death that comes with these difficult situations has also caused another problem — street children. Parker says, "There's a huge number–tens of thousands–of street children who are driven to the streets because of poverty and because of family breakdown. Some of them are refugees that have been displaced as a result of the internal conflicts. They have really no option but to just live on the streets simply to survive."
While on the streets, children open themselves up to abuse, drugs, prostitution, crime and more.
Kids Alive is doing their part to help. "We care for almost 100 former street children in residential programs in Khartoum and Wau, which is in the south of Sudan. We've also developed community programs, providing food, education, clothing and spiritual teaching to street children," Parker says.
Although rehabilitating a street child is difficult, but it's not impossible. Parker tells about a nine-year-old boy named Michael who was rescued by Kids Alive. He was difficult to work with, had a hard time adjusting to structure, and didn't like discipline or school. Parker says, "Over a period of time, we've seen a dramatic change in him. He's now 12-years-old and doing well in school. He is such a positive influence on the other kids in the home. And, he enjoys studying the Bible."
Michael continues to grow in faith in God, says Parker.
While the homes provide the physical essentials, Parker says that just part of it. "We want to give children hope, not just for this life — not just providing them with food, clothes, and education. But we want to give them a hope for eternity and the knowledge of Jesus Christ."
Prayer is needed. Parker asks for prayer that the circle of hopelessness would end. Pray also for mission groups who are reaching out to these street kids, and for more people to sponsor a child. "To sponsor a child through Kids Alive costs $35 a month. [It] helps provide the child's physical needs, emotional and spiritual needs as well."
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