Sudan: Struggle for Peace
“Lost Boy” looking forward
The sound of bombs echoed through the Sudanese town of Jalle. Seven-year-old Michael Kuany and his male playmates watched from a distance as the Northern Sudanese army destroyed their village. That was 20 years ago. North Sudan is predominantly Arab and Muslim, while south Sudan is mainly Black African and Christian. Michael now looks forward to a new future in providing hope for the broken Southern Sudanese.
“When the government of Sudan unexpectedly attacked my village,” he reminisces, “I was afraid to go back to where my family was and I went in an unknown direction, which later became Ethiopia. I didn’t know where I was going, but my navigator creator, (God) guided me in my entire flight. I walked for a thousand miles from my home country to Ethiopia where thousands of other children from other villages met up with me. I saw many of them killed by the Islamic forces. Ethiopia became my home for four years…life was really hard.” Later he was forced to flee Ethiopia or the crocodile-infested Gilo river. Michael and the other Lost Boys fled on to Kenya where other troubles awaited them: little food, only Aspirin for medical assistance and terrorizing gangs.
Through it all the lost boys saying “education is our mothers and fathers” was their mission. Whenever they saw a UN worker in the Kenyan camp, they would ask to learn a letter. Then at the end of they day, they would share what they learned. Michael remembers vividly, “For example, I would show him A, and he would show me Z.
Unfortunately, of the estimated 30,000 that fled Sudan, only about 7.000 made it to Kenya. Michael and approximately 4,000 others immigrated to the United States in 2001.
When he went back to Sudan in 2007, he discovered that “where there were once thousands of huts, there were now only a few scattered buildings. The trees I had remembered were gone. The land was dry and empty. People were few, as most have not yet returned from the refugee camps. Recent floods have also kept people from returning to their homeland. I did not recognize my home. There was nothing I brought back to the United Stat
God’s would guide Michael, as he traveled the treacherous road to freedom. Brought safely through deserts, jungles, crocodiles, armies and marauding gangs, he now lives at Church of the Sojourners with Dave and Debbie Gish.
His organization Rebuild South Sudan aims for change. According to the organization’s website, www.rebuildsouthsudan.org, “A 21-year civil war between north and south Sudan left southern Sudan economically and socially impoverished, [so] today the people of Jalle have no clinics, schools, or clean water systems. His solution to the problem? “To help the [orphaned] children of war. Together we can make a difference in people’s lives. Every child deserves these basic needs. Let’s join hands and help now.” Rebuild South Sudan is working to rebuild schools, and change the terrible situation in Sudan. To find out more information, or to donate, go to www.rebuildsouthsudan.org.
Written by Jordan Green, Published in Helium on 11 October 2009.