Our Live Engaged initiative was born from our desire to make a safer world. We believe that everyone should have an opportunity to flourish, and we stand together in the fight against poverty, injustice, and suffering around the globe. As we strive to achieve a safer world for everyone, we partner with organizations that have a proven track record of effectively and compassionately transforming vulnerable communities. 

In 2016, one of Dairyland’s longtime global partners, Samaritan’s Purse (SP), invited the Tachick family—Mike, Logan, and Kailey—to join them in South Sudan to witness first-hand the work being done throughout the region. They had the opportunity to witness and learn about the diverse programming implemented by SP across the region, in relief and development capacities – both core components of Dairyland’s mission.

South Sudan is one of the world’s newest countries, and has been plagued by unrest since its establishment, both in conflict with its neighbor Sudan and through civil war. Dairyland has been particularly concerned about this region of the world and designated our giving over the years to support the care of highly vulnerable men, women, and children fleeing unrest and persecution. Repeated bombings of this group’s homeland not only left them unsafe and vulnerable, but their largely agricultural livelihoods were also destroyed and normal programs like education became impossible. 

In South Sudan, Mike, Logan, and Kailey spent time in three areas: the capital city of Juba, Mayndit, and at the Yida Refugee Camp. Samaritan’s Purse is highly regarded throughout the region and was entrusted by the World Food Programme to oversee all food operations in Yida Refugee Camp. At the camp, the Tachicks witnessed for themselves the large-scale feeding operations providing monthly rations for over 60,000 people. They also learned about water, sanitation, and hygiene objectives (well drilling, water distribution, latrines, etc.), maternal and infant health initiatives, and youth-led peace initiatives.

I think about this trip regularly. It informs—maybe more than I even realize—the way I think about migration, poverty, power, and the difference between relief and development responses. When stats are forgotten, images and memories often stay with us. The trip further connected me to the work of our partners and a sense of urgency that their beneficiaries cannot be forgotten.

– Kailey Dharam, Dairyland Director of Culture and Formation

“Even as longtime partners, there can still be disconnect from the work itself, the communities it is contextualized in, and the impact it generates. These trips cast vision of what is possible through partnership and the resilience of community members,” Kailey reflects. “We didn’t go to South Sudan with the intention of fixing everything, or to save people, we went to learn and connect.”

Samaritan’s Purse’s presence in the region has been notable. Through their work, people who have fled their home country are being fed and offered shelter; clean water is being made accessible through the drilling of freshwater wells, benefiting public health and education; and emotional support is being fostered and extended among a highly traumatized population. Because of these efforts and their ripple effects, individuals and families are helping to lift themselves out of poverty, engage in meaningful work, and create a better future for their children.

“It’s interesting, tragic actually, that this situation could have been just a headline to me,” says Kailey. “Tucked away in the comfort and ease of my life, I have the privilege of being able to miss what’s happening in a country so geographically distant from me.”