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Source – Belfast Telegraph Digital ~ 21st August 2017
A Co Down hockey club is helping bring refugees from the civil war raging in South Sudan together.
Bangor Hockey Club has donated more than 120 sports kits to a refugee camp in northern Uganda, which is home to 60,000 people who have fled conflict across the border in war-torn South Sudan.
The United Nations has said the number of refugees from the conflict has reached one million, in a grim milestone for what has become the world’s fastest-growing refugee crisis.
The sports kits are being used by young people taking part in the ‘Peace and Reconciliation Cup’, a tournament at the camp which is using soccer to help heal division and tension.
The donation was made possible by local charity CMS Ireland (Christian Mission Society), an organisation working with churches in Africa and Asia.
Through their local partners in Uganda, the kit was distributed to local church leaders in the camp.
Lack of education, food shortages, inadequate medical services and scarcity of building supplies are all huge challenges. A major concern is the lack of constructive activities, making young people easy prey for rebel recruitment.
Andrew Gowdy from Bangor Hockey Club said: “The club had many kits that were no longer going to be used. We really wanted to donate them to a charity that would be able to give them to people who are most in need.
“Through CMS Ireland, we were able to send them to Uganda and to help refugees from South Sudan.
“It was fantastic to see pictures of the people in the camp playing sport in the kit and as a club we are delighted to have made a small, positive difference to the lives of the people there.”