AASSV (AUTRALIAN AND SOUTH SUDANESE VISION INC)
Australia is a country full of opportunities where even the most disadvantaged can rise up and make their symbolic dreams come true. The abundance of opportunities in Australia is also indicative of the many people of Australia, who are more often than not honest in giving everyone a fair go. A fair go that has reminded me of my roots and where I originated from.
My name is Christopher Bayok I’m from the Rumbek community of the Bahr El-Ghazal region of South Sudan Lakes State. The people of Rumbek are from the Dinka background of South Sudan. I came to Australia on 1st September 2004. Having been in Australia for Nearly eight years and experiencing what this country has to offer it has put everything in perspective. Growing up as a refugee, in refugee camps in both Kenya and Uganda, I was able to witness the extreme helplessness of human being. In these refugee camps people had absolutely no hope beyond daily survival, my family included. Even though I had my mother during this struggle, it still felt impossible that a day would ever arrive where the future would look anything but bleak. But while it was incredibly difficult for me to make it through, one couldn’t imagine the extent of difficulty for those that were orphans.
Since arriving in Australia almost eight years ago now, I have never forgot that if I could ever go back home and bring something meaningful to my native land, it would be to bring some much needed help to the most vulnerable people in the world, the orphaned children of South Sudan. This was also a view shared by my colleagues who were supportive of my idea. Many may have heard of the civil war that ravaged both the people and country of South Sudan for over two decades. The war that was fought between the North and South Sudan took the lives of about 4 million people, most of them civilians from South Sudan.
The impact of war and its wide ranging effects have left the country in ruins. Lack of proper roads, clean water supplies, proper sanitation, electricity and telecommunications are the legacies of neglect by governments in Khartoum and the two civil wars. One of the most outstanding examples of the impact of the civil war is the state of the health system in South Sudan. As recently as 2004, there were only three surgeons serving the approximately 10 million people of South Sudan. Moreover, estimates found that there was one doctor for every five hundred people. This is the picture of the current situation in South Sudan.
The problem facing South Sudan is a big one, one that requires collective efforts from both people within South Sudan and outside help. There is no doubt that the challenge to try and make a difference in South Sudan is an massive one, that’s why we think we want to begin with helping the orphans at the fundamental levels such as state and then expand to the level of South Sudan. As one the legacies of the over 2 decade’s long war, orphans make up a significant number of the young population of the newly formed country of South Sudan.
Our aim thus is to build an orphanage in Rumbek the capital of the Lakes state in South Sudan. This orphanage we believe will play a significant role in the lives of the orphans. The orphanage will first and foremost be a place where orphans will receive basic needs including food, shelter and clothing. It will also provide a home for these orphans to feel the love and caring upbringing they would have experienced if they had both their parents. By providing this sort of help to orphans we believe that a stable environment is created were these orphans who would otherwise have no hope to pursue their dreams to grow up and become productive members of their society.
The specific Objectives of the Project are:
o To provide an environment where orphans can receive love and care they would have got if they had their parents.
o To provide food and clothing to the orphans.
o To facilitate their education.