As South Sudan begins the process of nation building, we are concerned about the fate of estimated tens of thousands of Southerners still enslaved in the north. Those freed report daily beatings, rape (of girls, boys and women), and forcible religious conversions. People murdered and mutilated in slave raids, branded like animals. Children sold off and separated from their parents forever.
You can help set them free!
$109 helps emancipate a slave and provide him or her with essential humanitarian aid.
Here’s how it’s done: For over a decade the AASG has partnered with Christian Solidarity International (CSI) – a human rights organization that operates a slave liberation program in Sudan.
Local Arab-Dinka peace agreements are the basis of the slave retrieval system. In the early 1990s, some Arab clans which have an economic dependence on Southern Sudan – either the need for trade or land for dry season grazing – forged peace agreements with their Black African neighbors to the South. These Arabs were allowed to trade at designated markets in Southern Sudan and graze their cattle in designated areas, in return for rejecting the Government of Sudan’s declared jihad and facilitating the return of women and children who had been enslaved. Masters expected some payment for the release of their slaves, and the retrievers incurred costs. CSI discovered this indigenous Underground Railroad and helped it grow into a sophisticated network that has managed to liberate tens of thousands of people in the past 15 years.
Still thousands remain in bondage – over 35,000 according to a Sudanese government official.
For nearly a decade, CSI paid 50,000 Sudanese pounds for the liberation and return of a slave. In local terms, that is the purchase price of two goats. In U.S. currency the value has ranged over the years between $50 and $35.
At the present time, CSI does not exchange cash for slaves. Instead, we make cattle vaccine available to slave-owning cattle camp Arabs.
After the liberation takes place, CSI’s field staff interviews and photographs each freed slave. After years of bondage and suffering, suddenly returning to a life of freedom can be a challenge in its own right. Liberated slaves often return with no home and no food and face famine. Recognizing this reality, CSI developed a special aid package to assist survivors of slavery. These “Sacks of Hope” are delivered to each freed slave.
The start-up SACK OF HOPE contains:
- Tarpaulin to offer shelter from rain and sun which can also be used as a groundsheet
- Blanket to keep the whole family warm on cold nights in the bush
- Mosquito net for protection against insects, snakes, and scorpions
- Cooking pan for boiling water and preparing millet gruel
- Plastic canister to carry 5 liters of water
- Hand-held sickle for cultivating food and building a home
- Fishing hooks
Returning slaves also receive 12 kilos of millet, which contains protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, and is the most important staple food in Africa. A 12-kilo portion is enough to feed a family of five for one week.
The freed slaves find their way back to their home areas through the chieftainship network. Most slaves find their relatives. The few who do not are taken in by a chief or the church.
We are dependent on the generosity of supporters like you to continue our work.
Donations are tax-deductible
Please mail donations to:
American Anti Slavery Group
198 Tremont Street, #421
Boston, MA 02116
To donate online, click here.
Thank you for your support!