Skip to content

For Such a Time as This

We live in historic times. Today, more people than ever in recorded history have been forced to flee their homes — driven by the converging crises of violent conflict, climate change and extreme poverty. There are over 110 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, according to UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency.

At World Relief, we continue an 80-year legacy of boldly engaging the world’s greatest crises. We see God planting us in hot spots of displacement and uniquely positioning us for such a time as this, to lead in engaging with and equipping local churches to respond to global crises with holistic, transformative solutions that help families flourish and communities thrive. He led us to Chad, poised to respond to what would become the world’s greatest displacement crisis in the neighboring country of Sudan.

Provide Relief to Those Suffering Around the World

One of the poorest countries in the world, Chad has over two million people facing acute food insecurity. It also hosts over 1 million refugees, making it the fifth largest refugee-hosting country in the world, according to UNHCR. 

In 2022, we signed an office lease in Chad and hired a country director. After a lengthy application process, we legally became an operating NGO in the country in January 2023, and prepared to serve in camps with Central African Republic refugees for our first project. We also began discussions with local church groups in the southern region with the intention of planting seeds for a Church Empowerment Zone (CEZ) in the upcoming fiscal year. 

Just three and a half months later, war erupted in the neighboring country of Sudan

Providential Provision

The war in Sudan immediately impacted millions of people, including over 300 World Relief staff serving in the Darfur region, just across the border from Chad.

Through God’s provision, as an NGO already registered in Chad, we were able to quickly respond to a spiraling displacement crisis. We set up a sub-base in the eastern region of Chad to respond to the massive influx of Sudanese refugees and their dire needs.

“God always has a plan for everything,” said Justine Mercedes Nagorngar, country director of World Relief Chad, as she reflected on the opening of the Chad office just a few months before the crisis in Sudan. She continued, “This is also the fulfillment of God’s plan for his children, for those who have lost everything and are looking for a landmark in a foreign land. It is here that the Lord calls us to bring light and consolation according to the resources that he himself puts and will put at our disposal.”

For such a time as this: Dr. Justine Nagorngar, the Country Director of World Relief Chad.
Dr. Justine Nagorngar, the Country Director of World Relief Chad.

Within months, World Relief had distributed high-energy biscuits for 2,000 children, food and non-food items for 1,300 individuals with special needs, and soap for 10,538 people in camps near the eastern border with Sudan. We also bolstered the water and sanitation infrastructure through the construction of two boreholes and 75 latrines, which served 2,500 refugees.

What’s more, we were able to conduct cross-border missions into Sudan to provide aid in Darfur, where the situation was especially dire. Conflict had claimed many civilian lives and women reported serious protection violations including physical assault, rape, and looting of property.Among World Relief’s response efforts was the El Geneina Humanitarian Crisis Response, funded by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) – Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF). When our staff arrived in Ardamata, a community with internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the city of El Geneina, no other NGO was working there due to the security situation. World Relief was the first to resume work here, reaching a community in desperate need of help.

Millions Around the World Need You. Will You Help?

“For children and women in particular, the suffering increased after displacement,” said Tejany, an IDP living in Ardamata. “Many women lost their livelihood. Women-headed households were especially affected, and children faced hard work and exploitation,” he explained. 

Through the project, 35,710 IDPs and host community members accessed potable water, improved sanitation infrastructure and hygiene practices in Ardamatta, El Geneina and Alryad, Khartoum. Mobile clinics provided primary health care services to over 36,000 children, pregnant women and nursing mothers. 

Over 3,000 individuals received integrated child protection and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) services. We established committees, in one of which Tejany acted as a child protection chairperson, reporting violations to World Relief. “The most important change [in the community] is new attitudes through awareness sessions on domestic violence against women, the exploitation of children and child labor,” he said.

Tejany served as a child protection chairperson on a World Relief committee in Ardamata, Sudan.
Tejany served as a child protection chairperson in one of the committees established by World Relief in Ardamata, Sudan.

Nearly One Year of a Permanent Presence in Ukraine

2300 miles north, World Relief expanded its global presence to another country experiencing a devastating humanitarian crisis: Ukraine. As the war neared the two year mark, we established a permanent presence on the ground in April 2023 and also continued to work in surrounding countries, reaching those fleeing Ukraine

We rallied to provide accommodation, food and psychosocial support to 410 relocated children through our partnership with a Christian regional NGO, Fight for Freedom (FfF), in Romania. Although FfF focuses on bringing the homeless, ex-convicts and people in need to Christ, helping them reintegrate into society, they are currently also helping Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. 

Many of the children we helped had been displaced after a collapsed dam flooded Kherson, a port city in Ukraine. For them, FfF’s camp in Romania provided relief from the constant chaos and violence of war, the sound of sirens and bombings.

We also supported psychological training through our partner, A Family for Every Orphan (AFFEO), that equips adults with strategies for working with children who have experienced trauma from living through military conflict. 

For such a time as this: World Relief’s partner, Fight for Freedom, provided psychosocial and other support to Ukrainian children.
World Relief’s partner, Fight for Freedom, provided psychosocial and other support to Ukrainian children.

You Can Transform Lives Today. Will You Extend a Hand?

As individuals and families fled the war, we continued welcoming Ukrainian families in the U.S. — walking with them as they rebuilt their lives. We resettled 5,417 Ukrainians in the last two years, 1,256 through Reception and Placement and 4,161 as parolees, and we have resettled over 14,000 Ukrainians in the last 20 years. 

Whether in Chad or Ukraine, our 80-year commitment to helping people in their greatest moments of need has remained strong thanks to partners like you. Together with people like you, we’ve embodied the spirit of Matthew 25:35 : “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.

Shreya Shukla Thornton is the Senior Content Manager at World Relief. With over 13 years of experience in communication, she enjoys forging a connection through storytelling. She holds a master’s degree in English from the University of Calcutta and a master’s in strategic communication from Regent University.

Site Designed and Developed by 5by5 - A Change Agency