For a few months in 2014, I was lucky enough to work in the world’s newest country, South Sudan.
My role was essentially to gather stories and photos for CARE International from what’s been dubbed ‘the forgotten crisis’; one that has seen an entire country ripped apart, just three years into its life.
The stories that I was telling from South Sudan were, for the most part, sadly pretty bleak. This is a country that was born in 2011 after decades of civil war with the north, and was already one of the poorest countries on earth, even before this crisis broke out in December 2013. Since then, tens of thousands – and likely many more – have been killed by war, hunger and sickness, and now the entire country is terrifyingly close to full-blown famine.
Now that a bit of time has passed since I was working in South Sudan, I’m looking back and counting myself privileged to have had so many people share their lives and their stories with me. I certainly hope I did them some form of justice.
And while it is clearly a very dark time in South Sudan, there were also a number of positive stories, such as when I met my fellow Australian, Joseph Lukudu, who’s decade-long journey away from – then back to – his homeland of South Sudan is one of perseverance, commitment and tenacity. I definitely recommend having a read and getting to know Joseph, as he’s a pretty inspiring fella:
If you like words, then below are some links to some of the stories I wrote:
- Delivering emergency aid in South Sudan: expectation and reality
- A year without hope: Nyabel’s story
- Unasked questions, unspoken answers: life in a war-zone hospital
- “It was all burned, burned to ash”
- A hole lot more than just a toilet
- The forgotten girls
And if you’re keen to learn a bit more about the South Sudan crisis, I’d encourage you to check out the work of some very talented Aussies, radio producer Irene Scott and photojournalist Matt Abbott, who are both doing extraordinary stuff – in really trying circumstances – to help get the message out there about what’s happening in South Sudan.