Religious congregations together training teachers, nurses, midwives, local farmers and community leaders in the youngest country in the world

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     THE END OF THE YEAR  IN SOUTH SUDAN December 15th, first anniversary of the outbreak of internal fighting in South Sudan has come and gone without any serious incidents. The people of South Sudan are very focussed on anniversaries; so it is pleasing there were no problems. A few weeks ago there was fighting and evident tension between the tribes in the UN compound in Malakal. Last night Fr Mike Bassano, one of our Solidarity priests, who has been there the ...

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Letters From South Sudan

Girl displaced by conflict in contested border region of Abyei

141. Problem or Opportunity

 One of the secrets of living well is to see all our problems as opportunities. I have often quoted Friedrich Nietzsche, to myself as well as to others: ‘That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” There are many events in life that can test us. It is how we turn problems into opportunities that make us stronger. Life for many is not easy. Another less well-known quote of Nietzche’s is: ‘To live is to suffer; to survive is to find some meaning ...

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140. Dubious Assumptions

Last week, I went to the Juba airport to catch a flight to Yambio for our student graduations. All appeared okay as I approached the check‐in counter. It proved to be a dubious assumption. ‘Oh, Yambio. Your flight is cancelled. There is a problem with the plane’. I missed the graduation. A few days earlier, I had attended the graduations of the Senior Four, Loreto students who were expecting to do their final exams next week (in relatively the same ...

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139. Porridge in the Pot

There is pithy proverb from Botswana that states simply: ‘Beautiful words don’t put porridge in the pot.’ It brings to my mind other words that I heard many years ago: ‘I was hungry and you formed a group discussion’. There is a place for discussion but there is also a time for doing. Our Solidarity community in Riimenze are very focused, not so much on putting porridge in the pots of the local people but on helping the people learn ...

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138. Mission of Encouragement

Recently, we farewelled Sr Pushpa, one of the Daughters of St Paul congregation who are our next door neighbours in Juba. She has helped us many times over the years and, indeed I celebrated my first Christmas here as a guest at the Paulines’ table. Archbishop Paolino came to celebrate mass to thank Pushpa for her generous service and afterwards he wrapped her in a farewell cloak. In South Sudan, religious and clergy are mutually supportive and collaborate well. The ...

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