News Release

Elder Paul B. Pieper Speaks at Unite with the Children of Sudan Event in Nairobi

Elder Pieper joins government and NGO leaders to address the needs of Sudanese children affected by war

On Monday, 22 June 2024, Elder Paul Pieper, General Authority Seventy and Second Counselor in the Africa Central Area Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was invited to speak at the Unite with the Children of Sudan event at the Shamba Events Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Elder Pieper joined government, United Nations and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) leaders in bringing attention to the expanding crisis in Sudan and discussing ways to ease the suffering of 24 million Sudanese children affected by the war.

Sudan, a country with a population of 48 million, is located in Saharan north central Africa. In April of 2023, war broke out between two rival factions in the country. The escalating conflict has displaced 7 million people and disrupted the economic and social life of the country. The war has been especially disruptive to Sudan’s 24 million children, many of whom are among the 2.1 million refugees who have fled to neighboring countries. The children that remain in Sudan and those in refugee camps are facing a lack of education and health services, and in some areas, a lack of basic nutrition. 

The Unite with the Children of Sudan event was held to highlight the plight of Sudanese children and discuss ways to prevent them from becoming a “lost generation.” The event featured live testimonials of Sudanese children who shared their experiences and expressed their desires for peace and the opportunity to return to their home country with their friends and families. Panels were organized to discuss conditions and humanitarian needs and approaches to deliver the needed assistance in view of the ongoing conflict. 

The concluding part of the event was a call to action. Government and NGO leaders reviewed their contributions to date and some announced new funding commitment. In his remarks, Elder Pieper spoke of the compassion that the gathering had evoked in the hearts of the more than 400 who attended the event in person and on-line. He taught that compassion moves us to action when we feel sympathy for the condition of others and a desire to alleviate their distress. He shared how he personally intended to answer the call to action he had felt that day by: 1) sacrificing meals to contribute financially to the cause; 2) expanding the circle of compassion by sharing the needs of Sudanese children with others; and 3) as a person of faith, by praying daily for peace in Sudan and for the blessing of its children. 

“I love the governments of the world that keep our societies orderly, that is an important role, but we in religions can add something more. We can pray because we know that there is a God who hears us and can bless us with things that we cannot do as human beings,” he said.   

He continued, “I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has 17 million members throughout the world who are moved by compassion.”

Elder Pieper said the nearly $12 million USD the Church has approved and provided in 2024 to assist more than 200,000 women and children is made possible by the compassion of its members. 

He closed by saying, “I invite each of us to think of what our personal call to action is.” His remarks and invitation were met with an appreciative ovation.

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