Officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a country in East Africa. Its capital and largest city is Juba, located in the southern state of Central Equatoria. The landlocked country is bordered by Ethiopia to the east; Kenya to the southeast; Uganda to the south; the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest; and the Central African Republic to the west; and the Republic of Sudan to the north. South Sudan includes the vast swamp region of the Sudd formed by the White Nile, locally called the Bahr al Jabal. What is now South Sudan was part of the British and Egyptian condominium of Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and became part of the Republic of Sudan when independence was achieved in 1956. Following the First Sudanese Civil War, the Southern Sudan Autonomous Region was formed in 1972 and lasted until 1983. A second Sudanese civil war soon developed and ended with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005. Later that year, southern autonomy was restored when an Autonomous Government of Southern Sudan was formed. South Sudan became an independent state on 9 July 2011 at midnight (00:00) local time following a referendum held in January 2011 in which nearly 99% of voters opted for separation from the rest of Sudan. South Sudan has applied to join the Commonwealth of Nations, the East African Community, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank. The country was declared eligible to apply for membership in the Arab League as well. The United Nations Security Council plans to meet on 13 July 2011 to formally discuss membership for the Republic of South Sudan; and shortly thereafter, it is widely expected that the General Assembly will vote on a resolution to accept the new nation as the 193rd member state of the United Nations.
Project Helping Hands serves the Southern area of Sudan which lies just across the Northwestern border of Uganda. This area has known much devastation secondary to Civil War for as long as most of the local people can remember, resulting in poverty as well as little to no health care for most of the people. Most of the people live in mud huts with thatched roofs. It is not uncommon for families to group together & live in one area. For the most part there is no electricity or running water in the southern portion of Sudan. The lack of good, clean running water proves to be one of the greatest challenges the Sudanese face. Southern Sudan also has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world! The lack of access to health care is unbelievable.