Monday, August 18, 2008

Congressman Frank Wolf: A Man of Principle and Courage

Congressman Frank Wolf (center) with (from left to right) David Biar Gak, Peter Magai Bul, John Dut Kuol, John Chol Pajieth

A note from the Friends of Congressman Frank Wolf:

For many Americans, Frank Wolf is a Congressman from Virginia. But for thousands of helpless innocent civilians from South Sudan to Rwanda and from China to the Balkans, Frank Wolf is the defender of the forgotten and at times the lonely voice for the victims of government abuses and genocide. When very few people care to listen to the victims of abuse in South Sudan, Nuba, and Darfur, Frank Wolf was there. His commitment, dedication, and courage to stand up for what he believes are unparalleled.

When children were being bombed in schools and villages in remote places in South Sudan, Frank Wolf stood with them despite the enormous risks and difficulties. Congressman Frank Wolf first went to Sudan in April 1989 to visit the war zones of South Sudan. He was the first American to enter Torit, a major town in the South, which had just been liberated by the Sudan Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA). Since that first visit to Torit, Congressman Wolf never stopped to fight for millions of helpless people in Sudan.

During his risky and difficult visit, Mr. Wolf met and came to know well Dr. John Garang, the visionary head of the SPLM. Dr. John continually spoke of his vision of a “New Sudan”, a Sudan of equality and democracy for all Sudanese governed with integrity. The late Dr Garang said of Frank Wolf on a number of occasions that “Frank is a man of principle, who always stood with us.” Congressman Wolf never asked for recognition and in fact he always expressed his appreciation for other people. In a meeting in his office with Vice President Salva Kiir last year, Mr. Wolf told President Salva that “the world should thank you for fighting for the freedom of your people and for standing firm against the regime in Khartoum.”

Mr. Wolf, well known as a defender of the helpless, is an American hero, a leader on international life-and-death issues that his constituents may not be fully aware of, and a moral giant in terms similar to those of one of his own personal heroes, British abolitionist leader William Wilberforce. At the height of the Sudanese conflict and when the SPLM desperately needed help, an ill-informed senior American official, without proper authorization, informed regional leaders that they should not assist the SPLM. When Frank Wolf got briefed about this development, he took Administration officials to task. Had that policy remained in place, the SPLM would have been weakened militarily and the Sudanese government would have pursued its military campaign instead of negotiations.

Mr. Wolf’s commitment to the people of Sudan is fueled by his personal commitment to peace, justice, equality and good governance, as well as his awareness that Khartoum has presided over the entirely unnecessary war-related deaths of more than two million human beings in Sudan during the NIF/NCP’s rule, one of the largest civilian body counts since the Holocaust. There is an African proverb that accurately describes the man we call the defender of the helpless: He who tells the truth is never wrong! Mr. Wolf consistently and tirelessly spoke the truth in defense of the victims. Another African proverb says “He, who does not seize opportunity today, will be unable to seize tomorrow's opportunity.” We certainly don’t want to miss this important opportunity to say thank you for all that you have done and continue to do to help those in need.

Dear friends, we invite you to join us express our appreciations to Congressman Frank Wolf at an event on August 25, 2008 at 5:00PM. The event will be held at Hunan Dynasty Restaurant: 215 Pennsylvania Ave. SE Washington, D.C. Please invite all your friends. RSVP at:

Roger Winter
Ted Dagne
Rebecca Garang
Mia Farrow
Brian D’Silva
John Prendergast
Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth
Faith McDonnell

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Health Care in Southern Sudan

According to Grace Mukasa of the African Medical and Research Foundation, there are only 700 health care workers in all of Southern Sudan. One hundred of those are doctors. They serve over eight million people. That's approximately 1 health care worker for every 11,500 people. Compare that with Europe, where there are 19 health care workers for every 1000 people.

Part of our plan for the Pongborong Health Care Clinic is to train health care workers who can serve in the clinic and in mobile units to travel to the more remote areas.

These statistics are sobering reminders of just how vital this project is for the Ayual community and Southern Sudan.