African Enterprise desires to bring peace where there is conflict. Thanks to your support, AE was among the first responders to offer aid to refugees when tribal violence began in 2013. Since then, we have been walking with the citizens of Juba by leading a grassroots movement of godly leadership through peace and reconciliation trainings. These workshops are held to teach those impacted by the violence how to forgive and come together as a community. The results from these initiatives have been inspiring but it is clear there is still much work to do.
Twenty five year old James Otim is a student at Juba Health Sciences Training Institute & currently lives with his family in Juba the capital of South Sudan. James’ family got separated during the armed conflict that took over the country as the Christian South sought to secede from the Muslim North. The resulting war led to the loss of an estimated 2 million lives, in addition to famine, disease and the displacement of over 4 million people.
While many of their friends were escaping the conflict to seek refuge in neighboring countries like Kenya or Uganda, James and his siblings were stuck in Juba as they were too young to manage the treacherous journey of fleeing to safety, which often required walking very long distances to get to the refugee camps. There was also the added risk of being abducted and forced to join the armed groups.
James said “I have come a long way and somehow survived. There were plenty of times where I felt a sense of hopelessness, frustration and often questioned God. Having the chance to participate in the in healing and reconciliation workshops organized by African Enterprise was a real turning point in my life. As a result of these training workshops, I have been able to identify and deal with my fears, pain, and frustrations by praying and laying them at the foot of the cross. Moreover, I have also been able to identify my own prejudices against others and seek to denounce them and ask God for forgiveness.”
Now in his second year in College, James was elected by his fellow students as the head of the Student Government. “The Leadership Training offered by African Enterprise has really impacted how I lead, and what I hope to impart to my fellow students. When I think of my past, I know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that my family only survived because of the grace of God, and the kindness of neighbors, friends, and the AE missionaries and trainers, who were generous with all the resources they had. After going through the Peace, Reconciliation and Leadership program, I am free from the pain, and the anger I felt for most of my life. I daily trust God for his provision to enable me complete my studies and graduate as a Laboratory Technician, and trust that He will finish the good work He began in me.”
Because of you, thousands of lives are impacted through the Peace & Reconciliation programs across Africa. Thanks to your support, hundreds of people impacted by war, have been able to receive grief and trauma counseling, and training on reconciliation and peace building between communities that have historically always been at war.