Sudan: Refugee Voices

Awen and friends in tent at Renk

Awen (22) is South Sudanese and arrived in Renk in May. 

She came from Khartoum, Sudan’s capital, by bus with 19 other family members, whose ages ranged from 2 to 50 years old. It took Awen and her family 2 days to reach Joda at the South Sudan border. 

The family tried to leave Khartoum earlier, as bombings began in the city, but they had to scramble and group the money together to pay for the bus tickets. Under such stress, we could only imagine, it took Awen’s family more than three weeks to gather bus tickets for any many as possible. 

Although relieved to have fled Sudan, Awen feels scared with so much uncertainty and suffers, like many other refugees, from lack of food and water.

Awen was married to a family friend at a very young age and is a mother.

She wishes that her child will grow well and healthy in a peaceful environment, and to be able to join school.

She says they were happy in Khartoum and life was good, but when the war started it all changed… Bombs were falling all around her house and she and her family could hear and see random shooting in the streets.

It was frightening…

Her own mother stayed in Khartoum because they could not get enough money to cover her bus fare.  Awen is afraid for her and prays that her mother finds the means to join her.

Awen has some family further South in South Sudan and hopes to reunite with them as soon as possible but with no means to organize their travel, they rely on NGOs to provide them the needed transport. 


Working to support our peers at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) in South Sudan – the teams across the country north at the border are accompanying refugees through a number of actions, from distribution of basic necessities and psychosocial support to creating safe spaces for children and safe transport for resettlement and the referral of people in need of medical care and mental health services.

You can support this vital humanitarian work & help us accompany those in need.