Former refugees go home for Christmas, give the gift of peace

South Sudanese Americans, after more than 25 years in exile, are returning to their former villages to work for peace, unity, and development.


The efforts of Sudanese refugees in the United States of America contributed to the historic independence of South Sudan, which the world witnessed on July 9, 2011. In response to the need for peace in the new Republic of South Sudan, a group of former refugees (some of them known as the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan) have decided to return home to teach peace and reconciliation skills, and to help Jonglei tribes develop the skills and courage to solve their disagreements and to live respectfully with one another.


JongleiThe Jonglei Peace of Neighbors Project (sponsored by CARE South Sudan and South Sudan Institute and in partnership with the GEBU Center for Peace and Development) will be hosting workshops for ambassador groups, county commissioners, village chiefs, youth leaders, and women representatives. All these people will travel to various counties (Bor, Twich East, Duk, Wuror, Nyirol, and Ayod) of Jonglei state to conduct peace rallies and discussions with the villagers after the workshops.


As a result of this project, the participants will develop:

·        The opportunity to consider peace as the norm

·        A solid foundation for peace and an introduction to peace-building tools

·        An understanding of power as a responsibility that must be shared

·        A new Jonglei State in which peace and reconciliation is a preferred option

·        A working understanding of the term “neutrality”

·        Access to arbitration, negotiation, and reconciliation techniques

·        An understanding that differing tribes share a critical common thread by being unified as one nation.


What the volunteers are saying:


“I cannot ignore the overwhelming desire for peace in these communities, and the chance to bring together as brothers and sisters those who have always viewed themselves as enemies,” says Moses Nyuot Moyong.             


"We are determined to return home to engage in dialogue through the Peace of Neighbors project in order to strengthen our love of one another, and the compassion to discuss issues of peace and justice in our own communities and our global community, helping us grow as responsible, democratic citizens,” says Peter Magai Bul


“As a former refugee minor, returning home in more than 23 years , I hope to bring something back to my country. We are proud and humble Americans, but we are also deep down in our veins South Sudanese. This is a new day for our two nations, and an opportunity to share good deeds and work towards peace and development,” says Thon Moses.


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