Misean Cara CEO Heydi Foster delivered RTÉ Radio 1’s A Living Word programme from 8th October to 12th October 2018. Heydi spoke about her experience visiting Misean Cara funded projects in Colombia, South Sudan, India, Zambia and Haiti.
In this episode, Heydi speaks about a project run by the Jesuit Refugee Service in Maban County, South Sudan, that supports refugees and IDPs.
A Living Word – Caught Between Conflicts in South Sudan
This episode was aired on RTÉ Radio 1 on Tuesday 9th October 2018.
The silent child followed wherever we went, from tent to tent to school shed. We were a group of Khawajas. That’s the Sudanese Arabic for “foreigner”. We were visiting the vast refugee camp in Maban County, South Sudan. I wondered where his family was. I wondered what he wanted. I still wonder.
Maban County is home to four crowded refugee camps with over 150,000 people who have fled from violence in the Republic of Sudan to the north. But they ended up in a place wracked by the South Sudancivil war – replacing one conflict with another. I wonder about the things that child has seen, about his journey from his home to that temporary camp. In the four months since I visited, his silence has returned to me many, many times.
But, even in that harsh place, there is hope. Fr. Tony O’Riordan, a proud Corkman and member of the Irish Jesuit Missions, personifies it. He and his team are working to bring hope to lives torn apart by violence and displacement. There are other organisations trying to help with the basic material needs of the refugees. But Fr. Tony’s work, supported by Misean Cara, also addresses other needs – psychological support for people who have experienced trauma; education for children to bring learning to their day and hope to their future. His commitment is to the work of hope. A recent protest turned to violence. Many Khawajas pulled out. Fr. Tony stayed, cleaned up and reopened his services. Fr. Tony’s work is what provides my heart with hope for that silent child.
You can listen to the other A Living Word episodes on the Audio Page of our website.
Featured Image: Timothy Markos, a refugee boy from the Blue Nile region of Sudan, rolls a bicycle tire through the Doro Refugee Camp in Maban County, South Sudan. Doro is one of four camps in Maban that together shelter more than 150,000 refugees from the Blue Nile region of Sudan. The Jesuit Refugee Service provides educational and psycho-social services to both refugees and the host community. Photo by Paul Jeffrey, 2018.