Overcoming childhood horror

A young man in South Sudan has spoken about the horror of day after day passing dead bodies in the streets as he walked to and from his home in the city of Juba.

“During last year’s fighting, when many people died, dead bodies were left on streets near our houses for many days”, Joseph Kharim says.

This left children and young people deeply traumatised and without hope.

“I, too, was struggling with my emotions, and as a youth leader in my local church I knew there were many other young people with the same problem”.

Through his university studies, Joseph came into contact with African Enterprise and the Peace-building, Reconciliation and Leadership Development program AE was running in Juba.

He sighed up and says the program’s trauma-healing forums have not only helped him deal with the horrors of war, but also taught him skills which he says are enabling him to serve his community more effectively.

“I wanted to become a champion of peace and reconciliation, as well as learning how to counsel and support those who’ve gone through the same traumatic experiences I have”.

Joseph is now ministering to a growing number of students in schools and at Juba Christian University, helping them to make wise decisions with the choice of careers and with the lifestyle temptations they face – joining gangs, petty crime, sex, drug-taking and alcohol

“I thank God because so far I have witnessed many young people choosing to follow Christ and live meaningful lives free of drugs and other vices”, he says.

“And I want to thank God for AE and their ministry in Juba and hope that through AE more young people will get empowered to live better meaningful lives, helping to build a more peaceful South Sudan”.

Story written by Mike Heard, AE Volunteer.

Helping local government in South Sudan

South Sudan’s top civic leaders have spoken about how African Enterprise programs are giving local government badly-needed new management and leadership skills.

As part of its Peace and Reconciliation work in the war-ravaged nation, AE has been running special training programs for senior staff of Juba City Council.

The capital of South Sudan and the country’s biggest city (population 300,000), Juba was hit hardest by the 2015 fighting between government and opposition forces.

Since then, the council has had played a major part in bringing reconciliation between leaders of the warring groups

But apart from the terrible loss of life and destruction, conflict over a number of years has prevented many young South Sudanese from pursuing higher education.

This in turn has left City Council staff and elected council officials lacking fundamental governance, management and leadership skills.

AE has been helping to bridge the gap with special training forums, and AE leaders from Kenya recently visited council offices in to see what progress is being made.

They were shown how the training is giving rise to improved management systems and processes, enabling staff to operate more efficiently and effectively.

Council Speaker Michael Allajabu said the forums have led to significant improvements in reconciliation and peace-building skills and he urged AE to continue its work in the city.

Story written by Mike Heard, AE Volunteer.

South Sudan: bringing peace to a country that has known war

One of the most diverse countries in Africa, South Sudan, was also host to the continent’s longest civil war – a war which lasted 20 years. Though the war officially ended in 2011, guerrilla warfare continues and the country’s economy is in tatters.

People are struggling to heal.

But AE has stepped in, offering peace and reconciliation workshops, and slowly establishing roots in the fledgling country.

Earlier this month, AE Kenya’s Team Leader and Social Action Coordinator visited the capital city, Juba, to encourage local partners and check on the work.

“Food, fuel other basic are in short supply in Juba,” said Williams Muchiri, AE Kenya’s Social Action Coordinator, “but we are seeing improvements through our work.”

South Sudan growing sorghum

AE visited homesteads, where families are growing their own sorghum. They met with a small, local AE board in Juba, discussed partnership options with a team of South Sudanese youth leaders, and chatted with the Juba City Council Speaker.

The Speaker said that AE’s workshops on peace and reconciliation earlier this year have boosted the skills of his city council staff.

“He expressed his commitment and interest in continuing to partner with AE,” said Williams, “to enhance service delivery to the city of Juba by particularly strengthen and enhance their governance capacity as a council.”

We appreciate your prayers and support as AE continues to strengthen its friendship and partnership with Juba.

We bring the Gospel of peace to a country that has only known war.