Nyachangkuoth Rambang Tai, also known as Tai, is the cottage president of the South Sudan Cottage. She recently shared how the donations from Big Ocean Women made an important start in lifting and caring for women and their families there.
With painstaking care, Tai itemized the purchases made, accounting for all the funds. Can you imagine having a shopping list that only includes maize flour, lentils, sugar, washing soap, cooking oil, and rice? This wise shopper focused on providing those in great need with items that would be most useful and cost-effective. The pictures showcase women and children who literally shine with a light of hope that seemed to be included with the commodities.
The recipients of this life-saving food included five families caring for 19 children, including two newborns. They face unemployment, sexual-based violence, and widowhood. Tai explained that the five families assisted are “vulnerable, Christian families, with children. These mothers are struggling and are trying so hard to provide food for their families.” She was gratified that there would be “some children who would not go to bed hungry.”
As required, Tai had a tailor-made plan for her sisters in Sudan. Her only regret was not being able to help more of her people who are in desperate need. She sees this as only the beginning of making a difference, realizing that these women need a platform to share their concerns and fears as they face the COVID-19 crisis–almost as much as they need food.
Looking ahead, she identified other needs by observation and talking to women there. Some of these needs are more food, help in relocating to a safer place, educational tools for their children (since there are no schools), and diapers, wipes, and milk for their newborns.
Most impressive, despite the mammoth challenges they face, these women took time to send notes and videos expressing their deep appreciation for the assistance they received.
We salute these brave women and their forward-thinking president who serves with much love, compassion, and wisdom.
Tai acknowledges the vital and contributing role of her family in her service, especially from her husband, father, and father-in-law. Of her father she said, “I had the most amazing father in the world that anyone would wish to have. Especially in South Sudan [where] there is this discrimination of women [girls] being treated than boys. My dad . . . always worked hard to provide for us to make sure that we are treated equally and above all for us to go to school. . . . And I think that is based on the trust that he built and the good relationship that he built with me and above all the love that he showed to me. … he passed on and I felt like a part of me was taken away.”
She believes the Lord filled the gap in her life with her husband and his father. She explains that her husband was “that amazing man who would stand in front of the norms, the culture, the household practices and support me and the children all the way by giving us unconditional love and unconditional care.” Her father-in-law is a pastor and founder of Assistance Mission for Africa (A.M.A.), an organization committed to building peace, justice, and resources to improve life for the people there. The A.M.A. provided the vehicle to deliver the donated items from Big Ocean Women to the families in need.
We also salute all who have generously donated. The task may seem huge and the obstacles insurmountable, but the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. You donors provided the beginnings of changing lives one drop, one family at a time. Tai took those beginnings and built a foundation of more generative solutions to come.
(Special Thanks to Ann Takasaki for help in transcribing the conversation with Tai.)