A Bag of Beans

Little girl lying on a Bag of Beans in South Sudan. Freeze Frame of WFP video shot January 20, 2012 in Likongole Village.

The Rome office of Associated Press Television News covers Italy, the Vatican and also the two UN organizations based in Rome, the Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Food Programme. Over the years I have been impressed at the bravery and determination of many of the people working at the WFP who are willing to risk their lives going into war zones to bring food to starving people.

A little aside here, once when my first child was five months old, I took a trip with the World Food Programme into war-torn Liberia.  I foolishly thought I needed to prove to the AP that I could be a war correspondent Mamma.  It was so dangerous we had to stay on a UN boat anchored in the harbor so in case of emergency we could get out in a hurry.  What I saw on that trip between starving children, heavily-armed, drugged-out adolescents and war lords I will never forget.  If anyone is interested, I will do a post on it some day.  All this to say I know the courage and commitment the WFP people have.

Today WFP provided APTN with some video from the burned out village of Likongole in Southern Sudan. I think it was the first video to come out of there since ethnic violence exploded between the Lou Nuer and Muerle tribes around Christmas time.  The video showed a village burned to the ground with a few villagers standing around some recently dug graves.  The video showed a burned skull on the ground. The New York Times had an article on the violence that describes it better than I can. LINK

WFP got to the village in a helicopter and brought some bags of beans.  I loved a shot in the video of a little girl playing on a big bag of beans.  I don’t know her name but I hope that this girl will be saved from the grim future that many children in South Sudan are facing with ethnic violence, murder, rape and starvation common occurences.

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Post in: Italiano

Trisha Thomas
Trisha is a TV journalist working for AP TV News in Rome. She is married to an Italian and is a Mamma of three.

6 Comments

  1. jwthomas
    2012/02/01

    What a tragedy South Sudan is. Once they finally end the N/S civil war and the south becomes independent and there is brief ray of hope, this brutal tribal conflict breaks out. There is very little about it in the US papers/news. Instead we just hear of the nasty untruths being spewed forth from men who want to be President more than they want to be truthful. Anything you can do to help us know more of what is going on is of value.
    LD

    Reply
  2. Kathleen Botsford
    2012/02/01

    My husband and son spent November in South Africa working at an aids clinic, filming a video. The stories they brought back were intense and raw and more than my suburban mothers heart could fathom. My son told me he had to “harden his heart” to be able to be of help. You amaze me.

    Reply
    • Trisha Thomas
      Trisha Thomas
      2012/02/01

      That must have been an incredible experience for your husband and son. I wish I could get my son to do something like that, it must change a teenagers perspective on the world seeing such suffering.

      Reply
  3. Alan
    2012/02/01

    . . having seen and ‘dealt with’ similar so-called soldiers who were stoked up on dope and machismo and fed on blood-lust, I can picture the scene and the gut-wrenching feelings. These types are easy to deal with by professional soldiers but when their opposition is similar to themselves or just defenceless civilians they are like something out of a horror movie.

    Reply
  4. Adri
    2012/02/01

    Hi Trisha, Thank yo for a very moving post. I just can not imagine the horror that is the day to day life of these people. The suffering, especially of the women and children is incalculable. I remember shots of UN Aid workers tossing bags of food to starving Somalis in 1993, and hundreds of hands in the air, hoping to be the lucky ones. And then we heard reports that the war lords just stole all of the food, leaving none for the people. I applaud you and everyone else who brings the plight of these unfortunates to the rest of us.

    Reply
  5. Tag
    2012/11/16

    I am off to Juba end of month to nurture one of our US / s Sudan university partnerships.

    Reply

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