Summer 2015

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Hope in South Sudan

As South Sudan, the world’s youngest nation, faces a critical humanitarian crisis, one of Saint Joseph’s own is doing his part to help alleviate the desperate need for support. 

By Stefanie Martel ’15

Curtis Tyler ’01 is currently stationed in South Sudan with Medair, an aid organization that works to relieve human suffering in some of the world’s most remote and devastated places by providing relief and recovery to people in crisis.

South Sudan has been classified as an L3 Emergency country,” Tyler explains. That classification denotes a country facing an extreme state of crisis. Due to the nation’s conflict that started in December 2013—approximately two years after its independence—2 million citizens have fled their homes under duress. This mass exodus has drastically impeded the nation’s ability to sustain itself with adequate agricultural activity, hindered livestock cultivation, and diminished the supply of vital trades.

“It has left open wounds that will take decades to heal,” Tyler says. But he and his Medair colleagues have faith that the nation is on the road to success.

Tyler started with Medair in November of 2014, and a month after joining he moved to northern Africa where he serves as the deputy country director of Medair’s South Sudan operations. “As DCD, I oversee the financial operations, communications, health monitoring and evaluation, and our refugee program.”

Medair has been in South Sudan since 1992 and currently has four teams in place to provide relief for specific situations, including working with internally displaced persons (IDP), fighting malnutrition, providing emergency response, and assisting those forced into refugee camps. “We save lives in emergencies and then stay to help people recover from crisis with dignity, working side by side with communities to leave a lasting impact,” says Tyler.

Medair is a Christian organization, and their values closely align with my own,” he says. This connection to the organization was so impactful for Tyler that he partnered with the group because of their commitment to “helping the most vulnerable people.”

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Alumni, Service