HomeLetters From South Sudan (page 3)

Letters From South Sudan

143. With Band-Aids and Rubber Bands


    The fragile peace continues to hold and peace talks are soon to begin again; but we seem no nearer to a permanent solution and a clear roadmap for moving forward in South Sudan. A recent report from The Sudd Research Institute provided this table of statistics. I presume ‘security’ covers the military. The Rule of Law also attracts ...

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144. Cry Out My People

What is my future?

The recent pastoral letter of the Catholic Bishops of South Sudan was a heartfelt cry to the leaders of this young nation: ‘The War Must Stop: We Will Finish Ourselves and Finish the Nation. South Sudan has always been considered a God-fearing nation, whether Christians, Muslims or followers of traditional religion. But in this senseless and inhuman war the nation ...

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142. Brittle Egg Shells


    So far, so good! We have now been in the dry season for more than two months and, notwithstanding rumours of both sides re-arming heavily during the last wet season, South Sudan has not erupted into the violent conflict some were predicting. It could still happen but already the people are starting to look towards the new wet ...

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141. Problem or Opportunity

Girl displaced by conflict in contested border region of Abyei

 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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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137. Nurses Needed in New Nation


What happens to our graduates when they leave a training College such as our Health Training Institute in Wau? Do they find good employment and deliver valuable service? Are their hopes realised and is their life fulfilling? Is there something the College could have done better to help them prepare to be health professionals? Next year, the current Principal, Sr ...

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136. Educating Teachers in South Sudan

Teacher training in Yambio

It is a good problem to have. We need more dormitories and more staff accommodation in Yambio where there are now four, full-time classes of pre-service teacher training in action. There are two semesters per year and the programme extends over two years – thus, for four semesters. At the beginning of each semester there is a new intake. Initially, ...

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135. An Interrupted Journey

Br. William Firman, FSC (Australia) Director, Teacher Training College

This year is the 100th anniversary of the outbreak for World War 1. Variously referred to as the Great War or the War to End All Wars, this was not a war between uneducated, African tribes but a terrible conflict between the so-called civilised countries of Europe. It developed from relatively minor, initial provocation even when several of the major ...

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