Jesuit School in Wau, South Sudan a Beacon of Hope for a Region in Turmoil
by Fr. Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ,
After more than five decades of civil war, South Sudan attained independence on July 9, 2011. On independence day, hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese thronged the streets of Juba undeterred by the scorching heat, hoisted the national flag, danced and sang “Freedom!” Determined to be one of the key players in transforming and reconstructing Africa’s newest nation, the Jesuits of Eastern Africa placed South Sudan at the top of their priority list.
Little did we know that the joy and celebration that greeted the independence of South Sudan would be short-lived. Violence erupted late last year, claiming hundreds of lives, causing destruction of properties, displacing thousands of people, and leaving the country tottering on the brink of civil war. The conflict between the warring factions continues to threaten the stability and development of South Sudan.
However, the town of Wau, where Loyola Secondary School (LSS) is located, and the town of Rumbek, where Multi-Educational and Agricultural Jesuit Institute of Sudan (MAJIS), aka “Farm School” is located, have largely been spared the brunt of the recent clashes. Thanks to the generosity of our partners, we have started the construction of three science labs and a computer lab in LSS. We have also secured funding for MAJIS to start a rural livelihood diversification and food security program. The MAJIS program is aimed at boosting food security by increasing crop production and teaching modern farming practises.
As we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, we invite you to join us in praying for the people of South Sudan, so that the warring parties may stop the carnage and embrace dialogue as a means of finding lasting solution to the latest wave of violence.
As always, we are grateful for your invaluable support without which we cannot accomplish our mission in Eastern Africa. May God bless you and your family for your generous support.
Agbonkhianmeghe E. Orobator, SJ
Reprinted from the April 2014 issue of Shukran,
a newsletter of the Eastern Africa Province - Society of Jesus
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