World’s 196th Country

A few days ago, the global community celebrated the independence of the Republic of South Sudan – the world’s 196th country (if I use the list issued by the U.S. State Department). Becoming the newest country in the world, the people of South Sudan have chosen to express self-determination.  In a visit to Juba about six months ago, just before the country passed the referendum leading to its independence, I witnessed the excitement and hope that this choice would bring.  

All of us at Episcopal Relief & Development join in not only the festivities of independence, but also in looking forward to supporting our Sudanese friends  in building on the peace and developing their communities.  The Episcopal Church in Sudan, our partner, is one of the largest civil society organizations in the new country and an important deliverer of essential social services.   

As one of the Church in Sudan’s program staff mentioned in an email this morning about its partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, “I believe this spirit of cooperation and assistance may grow and prosper in every way.”

All the best to you, South Sudan!

Nagulan Nesiah is an International Program Officer with Episcopal Relief & Development.

Photo: A Chicago-area celebration of South Sudan’s independence on July 9. cc by Daniel X. O’Neill.