South Sudan Village Care Foundation is a not for profit organization formed in Rochester, NY to make the dream of one of the “lost boys” of the Sudan a reality by building a medical clinic in his war-torn village in South Sudan to treat many preventable diseases and to bring hope to the people of the village.
The lost boys and girls of the Sudan were a group of young children that were driven out of their villages in 1987 by the Islamic regime in northern Sudan. The boys and girls walked long distances in Africa to find refuge or safe places. It was a long journey that took the lost boys and girls years walking from one refugee camp to another. But in 2001, many boys and few girls were given the opportunity to come the U.S.A., with the help of the world churches, the UNHCR, and the U.S. government. During this process, Palath Thonchar was one of the lost boys who got the chance to relocate to Rochester, NY.
However, Palath Thonchar returned to his village Panrieng, South Sudan in 2009 to be reunited with his family. It was a joyous and difficult time, when Palath got to reunite with his mother and other family members. It took his mother several days to come to terms with the fact that this tall young man was her son, who she had last seen as a little boy. While there was much happiness in returning home, Palath witnessed untold sufferings and death of adults and young children from preventable and treatable diseases such as malaria, meningitis, dysentery, tuberculosis, typhoid, Kalazar (visceral leishmaniasis), and other infectious diseases. This is one of the remote places in the world where even getting simple pain relief is very difficult, let alone treating infectious diseases. Sadly, many women lose their lives during pregnancy or delivery, and many infants die at birth and many more do not reach their 2nd birthday.
Despite the signing of the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and formation of the Government of South Sudan (GOSS) in 2005, Panrieng is one of the areas most devastated by the destructive civil war between the North and South Sudan that lasted for 22 years. Therefore, there are virtually no health care services in the region. And with a lack of NGOs or UN agencies operating there, it will likely take decades to overcome many of these insurmountable challenges facing people in these remote villages. To make matters worse, refugees who were displaced by war two decades ago are now returning to villages, where there are shortage of basic human needs such as shelters, food and medical supplies. According to a UN report, it is estimated that over two million people have died and over four million were displaced or forced out of their homes in South Sudan during the civil war.
The presence of these unsanitary and unbearable living conditions in the villages in this region makes it an urgent need for Palath Thonchar to raise funds to build a health clinic from which people in the villages can receive medical services. Palath believes building a medical clinic will save thousands of lives from preventable and treatable diseases that are destroying lives every single day.