We are immensely grateful for the Ã¢â€šÂ¬438,132 that the South Sudan appeal has raised to date for the refugee programmes in Maban, North East of South Sudan.
We still have a deficit of Ã¢â€šÂ¬150,000. Almost 4 million people are experiencing severe food insecurity with over 1.5 million forced to leave their homes and fields there. South Sudanese rival leaders must engage in dialogue and negotiations to avert an imminent famine. BrÃƒÂd Dunne, Development Education Coordinator at the Irish Jesuit Mission Office, is presently in South Sudan visiting the Jesuit education programmes and being updated on the situation there. We look forward to sharing her news and pictures with our supporters on her return.
Sr. Elizabeth Waraga, a South Sudanese missionary sister, shares her feelings and thoughts as she observes a very different way of life in the Spanish capital of Madrid:
I am Sr. Elizabeth Waraga, a missionary sister from South Sudan. My order was founded to evangelize God`s people through education of women and girls and I am working with the Jesuit Refugee Service in the education department in Yambio State, South Sudan.
I have been in decades of wars and conflicts because the South Sudanese people want to be out of bondage of oppressions from North Sudan since the 1960s. I have witnessed the difficulties, hardships and sexual harassment that women and girls have undergone and the suffering of people from many preventable diseases and hunger. That is why they ran to other countries seeking security and peace.
As I walked around Madrid last Sunday seeing many families and youngsters enjoying the peaceful environment, tears dropped from my eyes.
I cried for my people, who have been on the run as refugees or displaced in search for peace, to get education like people of this country are well educated, both men and women who are rich because they have peace to work, to move. As a refugee during the war we used to eat food early in the morning because sometimes we can run for two days to three days without having time to cook or have nothing to cook and here I see that people have plenty of food to eat and of their choice.
I am today an educated woman because I got basic education as a refugee. This is not the rule in my country. In South Sudan before, girls’ education was not favored and 90% of women are illiterate, 50% of girls under age are forced to marriage and get pregnant. Because of poverty, parents are not able to pay them education, especially to senior level. It is a strong point to educate refugees’ children because it also creates sense of security and normalcy. As one of the heroes in South Sudan Dr. John Garang said, ““To educate a woman is to educate the whole nation. What he meant is to have many educated women or South Sudanese women who will work to bring ever lasting peace.
Let those African countries which are in conflicts stop fighting and give a chance to educate more women, also let people learn from the President of Uganda who have encouraged, empowered and valued women. I plead with countries and parents to encourage and support girls’ education, you will see the reward after few years. Try it!