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Letters From South Sudan

142. Brittle Egg Shells

imgp1580_20100805_1525746549

    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

Photo_Br-Denis-at-Education-Conference-2014

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

Living-in-IDP-camp,-Gumbo

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

hoping-for-a-better-future

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

Sr-Dorothy-and-student-nurses

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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134. A ship in the Harbour

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

On June 26th, the following was reported in the Sudan Tribune: ‘South Sudan has been named the world’s “most fragile” state, ending Somalia’s six-years atop the Fragile State Index, a new report says. The report, issued by the United States-based Fund for Peace (FFP), blames chronic instability, fractured leadership and growing ethnic conflict for South Sudan’s poor ranking… The country’s ...

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133. Food For The People

Photo_Agric Riimenze 2014 women at work

Amid all the unrest and conflict in South Sudan, progress continues in many parts of the country. Thanks to very generous support from Caritas Austria in partnership with Solidarity with South Sudan, our agricultural programme in Riimenze is making a great difference to the ability of the people to feed themselves. During the long years of war, many agricultural skills ...

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