I Volunteered for Second Harvest Food Bank & Explain Why

Brain , Dynal , Staff and founders of Second Harvest Food Bank, thank you so much for your wonderful job of fighting hunger and helping those who are really in need  and thank you for letting me volunteer at Second Harvest. 

My name is Betty Asha, I am from South Sudan and a student at Maryville college. Volunteering at Second Harvest means a lot to me and I always take pleasure in such activities, which involves fighting hunger and helping others because I have experience and know what it means by being hungry and needy.

In 2006, when I turned 13 years old, my village chief and his staff arranged for me to marry in exchange for goats and chickens as a cultural mandate, but for some reasons I refused to get married off at the age of 13 years old.   I wanted to stay in school so that I could help my widow mother who was struggling to raise us by herself.  My father died when I was 8 years old leaving my mother with five children and I was the first born. Refusing arranged marriage in my country is a life and dead decision that I took.  To be honest, it has never happened in the history of my entire village that a girl refused such cultural requirements.  I was subjected to three days torture. I was beaten all kinds of beats, burned, and left to die.  United Methodist missionaries rescued me and took me to an old WWI type hospital where I was hospitalized for a month. As a result of the torture, To this day I have lost all hearing in my right side ear, I carry the scars of the burns and beatings over much of my body, I just found I needed glasses when arriving to Maryville because I have 20-100 vision, and to this day I suffer from an inner ear problem that creates migraine headaches and vertigo for me.

After recovering at the hospital, I was thrown out of the village and the village chief warned my mother not to allow me home and everyone in the village looked at me as a “criminal”.  I became homeless at the age of 13 years old. That was the worst life I have ever lived. That was the time I starved nearly to death.  I cried all kinds of cries. I asked God all kinds of questions. I asked God to tell me what was wrong with me, what had I done to deserve that kind of life?  Three years later, God answered my prayers, and sent me Chris Hurley, a resident of Maryville, to go all the way from the USA to meet me in Africa particularly in a village called Pukuka, South Sudan. God is a way maker and a promise keeper. He works miracles and turns impossibilities to possibilities. He answers prayers. Chris Hurley became more than a father to me. He restored hope in me and assured me a better future.  That I am here today alive and bearing witness of God’s grace and his purpose for our lives is that proof.  Creating hope is so important and that is still another reason I like Second Harvest – that is what you really do for people, you give them hope.

My life in the past taught me to always trust God, help others, work hard, and forgive. I forgave those people, who tortured me and wanted me death. This world is a globe that people move around on.  Before I came to America and with the help of my American father, God used me to save the lives of several thousands of my people, who were trapped in a war zone in 2016. I rescued 2,296 people from my town of Yei, South Sudan when the civil war broke out there. The village elders that tortured me were among them.  I took them to Uganda and handed them to the United Nations (UN) and they are still in various refugee’s camps in the northern part of Uganda to this day.  You can read more about my story on my website – Bettyasha.com 

In April 2020, when the Covid -19 broke out, the same refugees – and others – were not dying of the virus but starvation instead because the United Nation reduced the amount of food individuals were receiving and I had to save them for the second time.  Actually, we have repeated this savings two times.  The first time the refugees ran out of food for about two weeks. Many lost their lives, especially children. I shared the situation with my dad’s company, Russell, and Abbott Heating & Cooling, and they donated money that purchased 29,762 pounds of food that fed 4,144 refugees for a mouth.You can also visit my website for this story as well and read more published news articles and stories from here and Africa.

Fighting hunger and helping others is my passion because I know what it means and that I experienced it. Once again, thank you so much for letting me volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank. I was looking for any possible means of serving and giving back to the community of Maryville that has done so much in the lives of my people and myself including getting me here, and you have given me that wish.

May God bless you all at Second Harvest and bless the United State of America.   

Sincerely,
Betty Asha
bettyasha86@gmail.com
Bettyasha.com

Food to My Sudanese Families Caught In World Lockdown and Starving Due To Coronavirus

No traveling, no movement, no visiting, it feels like the world is ending. I spent a month worrying about the global situation caused by coronavirus, I was so much worried about getting the coronavirus, losing my part-time job and dealing with online classes. I forgot to think that there are people out there who are struggling with the coronavirus and hunger as well.

Two weeks ago, I communicated to one of my contacts in the refugee camps in Uganda and he told me that the UN has reduced the amount of food they are giving to all the people in the camps and people are starving to death. I confirmed his statement with some of my Sudanese friends who are working there for the UN – and I got the same information. The reason why the UN decided to reduce the food amount is due to the lockdown caused by the coronavirus. This is a terrible oversight that is terrible for everyone. 

During my evening prayers, I asked God to intervene. It is not easy to be troubled by coronavirus and hunger at the same time. The next day, I shared the information with my Daddy, Chris Hurley, and he gave me money for food for the people in the Refugees camp. I worked to send the money to my close friend Richard Abe, the young man who is taking care of my girls in Arua Uganda. Richard Abe lives 3 hours away from the refugee camp. We worked out a plan of action for him to get enough food to take to our villagers in the UN camp. It reminded me of my work to send trucks into Yea – my doomed village in 2016. I had to find trucks and drivers and plan to get over 2,000 out. This was much the same but instead of getting everyone out, we were planning to get food in. Time was short since they had not had food rations for over 3 weeks. My initial plan was to buy rice but I realized the current price of rice was much too expensive. We bought maize flour and red beans instead and took all of it in 3 trucks. We finally had everything in place but due to the Easter holiday weekend, the money could not reach the banks in Uganda from Thursday to this past Tuesday (yesterday). The effects of the delay worried me a lot and it took a while to get the money to that side of the world. Maybe the delay helped a little due to the UN and Uganda restrictions on shipments into the Camps.

(Understand the camps have over 100,000 mostly South Sudanese refugees living there – and because the war still going on across the border, there is great concern that mean people will sneak poison food into the camp. This is what I had to guard against in my planning of these shipments and also convince the UN and Ugandan State authorities that what we were wanting to do was healthy. I had to write them a formal letter about my intentions and tell them who I am and why I was doing this. On the other hand I was very concerned that since I had plans for food for only those families that were MY villagers – about 2,000 – that we could get this shipment to them without serious problems.)

Since all the stores were closed so Richard was resourceful and got the cellphone number of the store manger written on the food store building and called the manager at home to do that transaction. All while waiting for the money to get to his bank account, he had to look for more food suppliers since the price of rice was greater than we could afford. He had to negotiate prices with them on the spot. He also went ahead and got trucks ready to transport the food from Aura (town) to the refugee’s camps. As far as rules are concern, Richard and Viola (my adopted daughter) could not just show up with food in the camp as I feared. There are steps to follow. I had to contact the camp leaders from Maryville Tennessee USA, and the UN representatives, and the office of the Prime Minister to get permission to give food to the people. We got the permission granted and Richard and Viola got camp women who we knew were strong with strong family ties and could be trusted and involved them in the food distribution process.

The assumed number of family members per household is 8 people but there are families which have more than 8 people. African families are extended families. The Money bought 225 bags of 25kg of maize flour which is equivalent to 5,625kg (12,400 pounds) and 1,125kgs (2,480 pounds) of beans – almost 7.5 metric tons of food.  This food will serve between 1,800 to 2,000 people.

I’m so excited that the food was delivered and disturbed successfully TODAY – April 15th to my South Sudanese brothers and sisters. This is the tough time and we need one another. Helping someone in this difficult time means a lot. Let us support one another to make it through this devastating moment – I hope others help with food as well and I hope the governmental restrictions will be lifted to allow everyone in the camps to again have food delivered.


By the numbers:

  1. 7.5 tons of food delivered last time.
  2. 518 families served.
  3. $5,100.00 cost

$9.84 per family for two weeks of food. (8 persons per family average)

  • $1.23 per person for two weeks of food.
  • .61 per person per week for food.
  • .08 per day to feed people.

28.95 pounds of food per family for two weeks

  • 3.61 pounds of food per person for two weeks
  • 1.80 pounds of food per person for one week
  • .25 pounds of food per person per day

How can we possibly let people starve?

Letter to The Office of the Prime Minister of Uganda

To whom it may concern,

My name is Betty Asha Moses, I’m a South Sudan national, and currently a student at Maryville College. I’m pursuing a double major degree in International Business and Political Science. Briefly about myself, I’m an international hero who rescued 2296 of my people of Yei, South Sudan from an active war zone in 2016. My story was told in Africa, Germany, England and Canada. I was interviewed by many radios in Uganda including the BBC World News Service. For more information about me, please visit this website: https://bettyasha.com.

The initial purpose of this letter is to explain my action of helping my people. I’m passionate about offering voluntary humanitarian services to people where I can, and besides, I’m training to be a role model, and a world leader. I believe that the most important quality of a leader is to lead by example and I’m practicing my leadership skills by being an example to others. I feel like it is perhaps more important to be a role model, a leader during times of adversity, tough times like this of pandemic. We all need one another in one way or the other.

Please consider my request to help God’s people.

Sincerely,

Betty Asha

Coronavirus, World Lockdown

No traveling, no movement, no visiting, it feels like the world is ending. I spent a month worrying about the global situation caused by coronavirus. I was so worried about getting the coronavirus, losing my job and dealing with online classes.  I didn’t know that there are people out there who are struggling with the coronavirus and hunger as well.

Two weeks ago, I communicated to one of the people in the refugee’s camps in Uganda and he told me that the UN has reduced the amount of food they are giving, and people are starving to death. I confirmed his statement with some of my friends who are working at the UN and I got the same information. The reason why the UN decided to reduce the food amount is due to the lockdown caused by the coronavirus. During my evening prayers, I asked God to intervene. It is not easy to be troubled by coronavirus and hunger at the same time. The next day, I shared the information with my Daddy, Chris Hurley, and he gave $5000 for food for the people in the Refugees camp. I send the money to Richard Abe, the young man who is taking care of my girls in Arua Uganda. Richard lives 3hours away from the refugee’s camp. Due to the Easter season, the money took a little while to get to that side. 

As Richard was waiting for the money to get to his bank account, he had to look for food suppliers and negotiate prices with them. He also went ahead and got trucks ready to transport the food from Aura town to the refugee’s camps. As far as rules are concerned, Richard Abe can not just show up with food in the camp. There are steps to follow.  I had to contact the camp leaders, the UN representatives, the office of the Prime Minister to get permission to give food to the people. We got the permission granted and Richard got women involved in the food distribution process.

The assumed number of family members per household is 8 people but there are families which have more than 8 people. African families are extended families. The $5000 bought 225 bags of 25kg of maize flour which is equivalent to 5625kg and 1125kgs of beans. This food served more than 1800people.

I’m so excited that the food is delivered and disturbed successfully. Brothers and sisters, this is the tough time that we need one another. Helping someone in this difficult time means a lot. Let us support one another to make it through this devastating moment.

Food to My Sudanese Families Caught In World Lockdown and Starving Due To Coronavirus.

No traveling, no movement, no visiting, it feels like the world is ending. I spent a month worrying about the global situation caused by coronavirus. I was so much worried about getting the coronavirus, losing my part-time job and dealing with online classes.  I forgot to think that there are people out there who are struggling with the coronavirus and hunger as well.

Two weeks ago, I communicated to one of my contacts in the refugee camps in Uganda and he told me that the UN has reduced the amount of food they are giving to all the people in the camps and people are starving to death. I confirmed his statement with some of my Sudanese friends who are working there for the UN – and I got the same information. The reason why the UN decided to reduce the food amount is due to the lockdown caused by the coronavirus. This is a terrible oversight that is terrible for everyone.

During my evening prayers, I asked God to intervene. It is not easy to be troubled by coronavirus and hunger at the same time. The next day, I shared the information with my Daddy, Chris Hurley, and he helped me start raising money for food for the people in the Refugees camp. I worked to send the money to my close friend Richard Abe, the young man who is taking care of my girls in Arua Uganda. Richard Abe lives 3 hours away from the refugee camp. We worked out a plan of action for him to get enough food to take to our villagers in the UN camp.  It reminded me of my work to send trucks into Yei – my doomed village in 2016. I had to find trucks and drivers and plan to get over 2,000 out. This was much the same but instead of getting everyone out, we were planning to get food in.

Time was short since they had not had food rations for over 3 weeks.  My initial plan was to buy rice but I realized the current price of rice was much too expensive. We bought maize flour and red beans instead and took all of it in 3 trucks.   We finally had everything in place but due to the Easter holiday weekend, the money could not reach the banks in Uganda from Thursday to this last Tuesday (yesterday). The effects of the delay worried me a lot and it took a while to get the money to that side of the world.  Maybe the delay helped a little due to the UN and Uganda restrictions on shipments into the Camps.

(Understand the camps have over 100,000 mostly South Sudanese refugees living there – and because the war still going on across the border, there is great concern that mean people will sneak poison food into the camp.  This is what I had to guard against in my planning of these shipments and also convince the UN and Ugandan State authorities that what we were wanting to do was healthy. I had to write them a formal letter about my intentions and tell them who I am and why I was doing this.   On the other hand, I was very concerned that since I had plans for food for only those families that were MY villagers – about 2,000 – that we could get this shipment to them without serious problems.)

Since all the stores were closed so Richard was resourceful and got the cellphone number of the store manager written on the food store building and called the manager at home to do that transaction. All while waiting for the money to get to his bank account, he had to look for more food suppliers since the price of rice was greater than we could afford.   He had to negotiate prices with them on the spot. He also went ahead and got trucks ready to transport the food from Aura (town) to the refugee camps. As far as rules are concerned, Richard and Viola (my adopted daughter) could not just show up with food in the camp as I feared. There are steps to follow. I had to contact the camp leaders from Maryville Tennessee USA, and the UN representatives, and the office of the Prime Minister to get permission to give food to the people. We got the permission granted and Richard and Viola got camp women who we knew were strong with strong family ties and could be trusted and involved them in the food distribution process.

The assumed number of family members per household is 8 people but there are families that have more than 8 people. African families are extended families. The money bought 225 bags of 25kg of maize flour which is equivalent to 5,625kg (12,400 pounds) and 1,125kgs (2,480 pounds) of beans – almost 7.5 metric tons of food.  This food will serve between 1,800 to 2,000 people.

I’m so excited that the food was delivered and disturbed successfully TODAY – April 15th to my South Sudanese brothers and sisters.  This is the tough time and we need one another. Helping someone in this difficult time means a lot. Let us support one another to make it through this devastating moment – I hope others help with food as well and I hope the governmental restrictions will be lifted to allow everyone in the camps to again have food delivered.

A Life Milestone

May 02, 2019 was the best day ever in my life. It was the day that I was been praying to happen for years. I call that day a day of a breakthrough, it was when I finally stepped into the USA after years of struggling to get the visa. Meeting my Daddy after 9 years made me feel like crying and laughing at the same time. When I was on the airplane, I could not believe that I was literally going to meet my Daddy and his friend, Steve Hillis,, both men of their words, the ones who made it happen to me that today I’m in the USA. When I finally arrived at Knoxville airport, I was curious and can wait to see those two gentlemen. I was so excited and overwhelmed with joy and I finally got to meet them plus my two friends Anita and Amanda. I wish everyday should like the May 02, 2019. That day proved to me that determination will always lead to destination and I learnt that we all need one another in our lives.

Speaking at Knoxville’s Old North Abbey

Aaron has been the Rector at Old North Abbey since 2014. He was the perfect host and I thank him for allowing me to speak and tell my story. But mostly my girls’ story. Thanks again, Father Aaron!

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After 3 failed attempts to gain an American Student Visa – I wrote a personal letter to First Lady Mrs Trump

Frustrated after almost 3 years and 3 failed tries to gain a Student Visa – and as a part of a larger letter writing plan by my father and others in East Tennessee  – In early 2019 and with not so good English I wrote the following to Mrs. Trump:

Dear Mrs Trump,

My name is Betty Asha Moses Adullyi, I’m an orphan from South Sudan requesting for a student visa to come to America for a college education.

I have four(4)  years scholarship in Maryville college, Tennessee but the problem is your state of department won’t let me in to the United states of America. I have tried for three(3) times and I’m trying one more time.

I know many of you thinks that I want to stay forever in the United States but trust me, I do not have any intentions or plan to someday become a citizen of the United State of America.

My purpose of going there to study is clear. I’m only coming to study political science and business management. I will then use my newfound degree to obtain job in my fledgling government. I will then use that job as means to lead my country. My plan is to raise from education and lead my country South Sudan.

Believe it or not, I have thousands of people, my villagers and country- men, boys and girls who are depending on me. Please read my BBC story of August 2016. I have a lot of responsibilities back home. I’m a role model, a mentor, a transformer and leader. I came out from a community where young girls are treated with general disdain. Young girls are traded like cattle in to force marriages. I refuse such treats and as results of refusal to be traded, I suffered severe beatings and therefore, I become the first graduate from high school and University in the history of my Village and therefore, I must return and save my people.

Mrs Trump, I need an American education to know how to educate, transform, bring hope to the hopeless (especially young girls) and protect my people when I return.

To know more about me and my stories, I refer you to my Dad Chris Hurley in Maryville, Tennessee. He helps me.

Thank you Mrs Trump

May God bless you for helping me help my people.

Sincerely,
Betty.

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