MRDF Sudan appeal tops £16,000

Methodist charity thanks all who have given

The Methodist Relief and Development Fund (MRDF) has raised over£16,000 for the Sudan since it launched its appeal on 24 June. Thefunds raised by MRDF are going directly to aid body Action byChurches Together (ACT) to meet urgent needs for shelter, food andclean water in the refugee camps in Darfur and neighbouringChad.
Sarah Hagger of MRDF said: "We would like to thank everyone who hasresponded so generously and rapidly to MRDF's Sudan appeal. Yourgifts have gone directly to help people in desperate need of aid.The Disasters' Emergency Committee appeal, launched this week,shows that the need has not gone away but has got more acute. Ahuge effort is still required by all agencies to help the people ofDarfur."

3,000 people, who were sheltering together in a school compoundfor fear of Janjaweed militia attacks, are now safe in Um Gozencamp. Here, ACT partners have provided water pumps, simple buildingmaterials for shelters and a medical centre to treat diseases suchas malaria, typhoid and diarrhoea.

Mariam Adam is one of those now living at Um Gozen, after herfarm and village were attacked. During the shooting, she wasseparated from three of her children and her husband was shot andwounded. She is now reunited with her children and they have foodand shelter in the camp, but she says: "They are still damaged bywhat has happened to them. They don't talk much; they don't answermy questions. They have heard too many big guns."

Life is harsh and basic at Um Gozen, but it is safe and betterequipped than most other camps. Families, like Mariam's, fleeingfrom violence, are arriving daily at different camps, with littleshelter or clean water and serious risk from disease andmalnutrition.