Foundation Day for South Sudan
Today 9 July is the anniversary of the creation of South Sudan and Australia and Catholic Care has several connections with South Sudan, the youngest country in the world. In 2005, when it was founded, the people were full of hope. Today that hope has taken a battering through civil war and corruption.
There is no postal service, recently the telephone services have been cut, most of the country does not have roads, government workers are often not paid for months and months
The Catholic church, other religions and NGOs have been active in South Sudan. Religious congregations have come together in an organisation called Solidarity with South Sudan (SSS). They train teachers, nurses, midwives, local farmers and community leaders. The head of the teacher training college is an Aussie, Brother Bill Firman. Many Australians have volunteered with SSS including Sr Janet who organises the English and computer classes at Mamre
The Holy Faith sisters, active in the Parramatta Diocese, responded to an invitation to set up a primary school in Riwoto among the Taposa people. Their contract was for three years. Working with the Kiltegan Fathers, they got the school up and running from scratch, mentored the existing teachers, many untrained, and subsidised young men to go to SSS for teacher training.
In spite of all their difficulties, the South Sudanese people have never lost their spirit of joy and celebration. Sunday Mass is an event!! It lasts for three hours and is full of singing, music, colour and joyous celebration. The common meal afterwards is not as plentiful as it once was as famine and hunger take hold.
Let us pray for the people of South Sudan that their leaders will walk the paths of peace.