If you are a church or religious organisation who would like to share more stories and images about the work of MAF, then in this section you can find ready-written material, prepared by the MAF UK News team, for you to download and use.
Our quarterly Prayer Diary includes daily prayer needs, photos and themed scriptures to equip you in intercession. As an extra bonus, the Prayer Diary comes with our Flying for Life Magazine - full of up to date stories from the countries in which we serve.
Here you are, in one of Africa’s poorest and most vulnerable countries.
It may be your first visit to South Sudan, but MAF has been flying here for a very long time.
Here is an introduction to the country, which is so deserving of your precious time, support and prayers.
73 Years Ago
With a harsh climate and only a handful of passable roads, it was the River Nile that pointed MAF’s early pioneers to land here in 1948. All they had was a flimsy, post-war aircraft, a map and a compass.
MAF’s earliest African landing quickly identified Sudan as the nation most in need of our help — a fact which couldn’t be more true today.
Since carving out the first MAF airstrip in 1950, our planes have been serving the country’s poorest people ever since, except for the years when we were forced out of the country because of civil war.
More than 70 years on, travellers in South Sudan face many of the same challenges. During the rainy season, roughly 60% of the country cannot be reached by road. Our mission here remains unchanged — to reach the country’s remotest and poorest people with the help, hope and healing they need to survive.
The UN has called South Sudan ‘one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises of our time.’ Almost five million people are in urgent need of help, including over a million children suffering acute malnutrition. Conflict, poverty and hunger have touched every family and ethnic group, and most South Sudanese people have no access to good healthcare, education or infrastructure.
That’s why MAF planes are so vitally important to those struggling to survive in this fledgling nation. South Sudan has always been at the very heart of our work in Africa.
The current population of South Sudan is 10.9 million, with just 1 in 5 people living in urban areas.
There are 60 indigenous languages spoken across South Sudan, though English is the official language.
South Sudan is land-locked and borders 6 countries: Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic.
MAF flies into 74 airstrips across the country, from main towns with tarmac runways to remote villages with short dirt strips.
In 2019, MAF flew 8,484 passengers in South Sudan and worked with 219 partner organisations.
We flew more than 333,000 miles in 2019 and carried over 148 tonnes of freight.
There are 78 people groups in South Sudan. Christianity is the largest religion but there are still some people groups unreached with the Gospel.
War and conflict
Since December 2013, almost 2 million South Sudanese have fled to neighbouring countries for safety, and at least 400,000 people have been killed.
Much of the road network is in disrepair. There are less than 200 miles of paved roads in a country the size of France.
English is the official language in South Sudan, but there are still over 60 indigenous dialects in the remote regions. Many of these isolated people are yet to hear the Good News in their own language, and our flights carry pastors, evangelists and Bible translation teams to reach those who would otherwise never hear the Gospel in their mother tongue.
South Sudan’s climate is very hot all year round, and water is essential for keeping hydrated in such harsh conditions. Sadly, most people don’t have access to clean water. MAF partners with many organisations to provide water and sanitation, helping remote people to meet their most basic human need. As you carry your water bottle with you, remember our partners who are working to provide water for thousands of people who are suffering in South Sudan.
Overland travel can be very dangerous on the few roads that do exist here. Many routes are lined with bandits and cross conflict zones. Lots of our passengers say that MAF is the best and safest way to get around, and are so grateful for our flights. While you travel, remember those who remain isolated, and can’t access the basic provisions they need to survive.
Malaria remains one of the largest killers in South Sudan, with close to two million cases reported every year. Many remote clinics can only keep running because MAF planes deliver medicines, doctors and volunteers to help treat the sick. Don’t forget to take your antimalarial medication while you are here and, as you do, pray for someone from South Sudan who may be battling a deadly disease today.
Children’s Activity Worksheet
Mike, Alpha and Foxtrot have put together some fun children’s activities which you can download and print as a booklet. In your printer settings, just choose the options to print on both sides of the paper and flip on the short edge.
Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) is the world’s largest humanitarian air operator. For over 75 years we have been flying light aircraft over jungles, mountains, swamps and deserts. We enable more than 2,000 aid, development and mission organisations to bring medical care, emergency relief and long-term development. Our pilots and personnel deliver relief workers, doctors, pastors, school books, food, medicines - everything that can only be safely and speedily delivered by air. Our faithful supporters give and pray to make this all possible.