South Sudan (MNN) — Effective messaging is critical for raising community awareness and knowledge of COVID-19 prevention. See our full coronavirus coverage here. In South Sudan, World Concern teams up with local churches to spread the word.
“When it came to COVID-19 messaging, it became very effective for them because they established those relationships with their communities,” World Concern’s South Sudan Country Director Joshua Bundi says of church partners.
“When you empower the local church, they become more effective messengers. The communities we are working in so far have not had a case reported.”
World Concern already worked closely with local believers. The pandemic proved why that ongoing partnership is so important.
“We understand the communities we are working in; they do not have the capacity [or] the ability to handle COVID,” Bundi explains.
“The best we could do was to start community preparedness way in advance, even before the first case started. The churches became the center of our activity [and] the agents of our message on COVID.”
Prevention through partnership
World Concern fosters disaster response and sustainable community development in 12 countries: Haiti, Laos, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Somalia, and South Sudan. Learn more about World Concern here.
In the world’s newest nation, World Concern and its church partners provide help for today and hope for tomorrow. “We have trained many evangelists within the local communities in partnership with the church,” Bundi says.
“These are people who have not only empowered the community with the Gospel but also [have] a lot of impact in terms of economic development.”
An established community presence led to open doors when COVID-19 arrived in South Sudan earlier this year. “We were able to reach over 300,000 [people] in the communities to help them prepare and have assets (resources),” Bundi says.
Now, World Concern is giving believers the communication tools they need to prevent another surge of infections. Support World Concern’s COVID-19 response here.
“We train the volunteers and equip them with megaphones; we get them [communication] materials; that is, the banners, the pamphlets, [with] the messages concerning COVID,” Bundi explains.
Pray these efforts will be useful in preventing COVID-19 infections. Pray that, as trust builds between villagers and Gospel workers, believers find the opportunity to talk about Jesus.
Header image depicts World Concern partners in South Sudan holding banners with COVID-19 prevention information. (Photo courtesy of World Concern via Facebook)