We are all neighbors.
All Saints’ has longstanding partnerships in multiple eastern and southern African countries (not just South Sudan) because we understand that “neighbor” does not equal geographic proximity, but rather is an indication of our shared humanity.
Renk Diocese in South Sudan is one of two companion dioceses to Chicago and St. Peter’s of Geiger has been our official partner church for 15 years. Bishop Joseph Garang Atem of Renk visits All Saints’ each year.
South Sudan secured its independence in 2015 but continues to experience famine, conflict and economic hardship. Many in South Sudan are committed to peace and justice for their families and communities. All Saints’ is honored to show up, pray, raise money, develop friendships, and deepen partnerships with our neighbors in South Sudan.
We continue to partner with Nile High School in Arua, Uganda, which is near the southern border of South Sudan and receives many refugees. We also have long-standing partnerships with individuals in Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania, where we help pay for tuition and living expenses so they can be a light to others in their community.
Our partnerships stem from parishioner relationships with individuals in these various countries that we’ve maintained over several decades.
Annual Africa Bake Auction
One of the other, and more consistent, ways we support our friends and neighbors in South Sudan is through the annual Africa Bake Auction. Our children ages 9 to 12 manage this exciting event each year. The amount raised has grown every year; in 2020, we raised close to $40,000 – in one hour! This special highlight of our year has helped fund educational, medical, agricultural, and economic development projects in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Tanzania through our longstanding partnerships with friends in these countries.
Every year the children take on the important task of deciding how the money raised will be allocated. These young managers meet with Bishop Joseph to talk about the needs in his country and then make their funding decisions based upon this meeting and on other applications for support.