Remarks By Twic Community–USA President David Lual Bul




















Full Speech of President David Lual Bul Manyok—As Prepared for Delivery

Leadership Commencement Address to   

Twi Community Association–USA, Inc.


September 21, 2019
Rochester, Minnesota


Mr. Board Chairman, John Lueth Mabior Lueth, Vice President, Lual Deng Awan Deng-wiir, Secretary General, Garang Ajak Deng Barach, our distinguished and honorable guests: Minister Awut Deng Acuil, Ambassador Philip Jada Natana, Ambassador Agnes Adlino Orifa, Dr. Majak D’Agoot Atem, Mr. Ajang Chan Awuol, Mama Mary Juan Philimon, Mr. Matiop Lueth Atem, ladies and gentlemen, South Sudanese Community leaders,and fellow members of the Twi community: Allow me to welcome you all on behalf of Twi community in the United States of America. We are honored you have joined us today and thank you for bringing greetings on behalf of your members. We truly appreciate that. If you are here as one of the South Sudanese community association’ leaders, please rise up for Twi people to see you. South Sudanese Diaspora communities, good afternoon and thank you so much for coming to our leadership commencement. There is no greater honor than to see all of you here today. Moreover, there is no greater reward than community service. And today, as all of you are aware, there is no greater need in our communities and our country than to provide community services through responsible community stewardship. For these reasons, I would like to honor our heroes, our country’s founding father Dr. John Garang de Mabior and his comrades, including our president Salva Kiir Mayardit and all the leaders. May South Sudan overcome its challenges achieve peace and prosperity.


I would like to begin my speech by referencing the African teaching of Ubuntu—the concept of “I am because we are”. This belief’s central message is that we may be different individuals and/or communities, but our needs are intertwined and our destiny is bound. We exist because of all of us. Twic community is part of the South Sudanese communities as all the different South Sudanese are also part of us the Twi people. We are South Sudanese, and South Sudan is us. So welcome to Twi East Community-USA office commencement, and please feel at home at this function. Also allow me to thank and acknowledge my Twi community former leaders in the United States, Mr. Thuch Wal Juac, Kuol Anyieth Kuol and Wal Garang Kuir and Bul Thuc Dut. I would like all of us to applaud for them for the great work they have done to sow the seed of Twi community organization here in the United States of America. Thank you, gentlemen. I have to thank and acknowledge that today commenced the leadership of Twi community which is my leadership and all of our incoming volunteers. Twic is in great hands. I trust these colleagues; we will build from where the previous leadership left off and continue the stewardship. As president Obama once said, “We are fired and ready to go”. We are, indeed, fired up and ready to provide community service to members here in the United States and in Jonglei State in South Sudan. We will do this as united community. Our community, my community at this juncture believes in working together; working hand in hand is the ultimate goal to help build new lives in the United States. My leadership believes in making education, socioeconomic and culture preservation parts of our strategy to strengthen members’ proficiencies, to overcome inherent and systematic barriers that preclude immigrant/newcomer’s communities’ such as ours from effective participation in the “American Dream.” Our Community recognizes prosperous immigrants’ communities in the United States are those who make education, youth engagement, financial literacy as parts of progressing and underpinning socioeconomic status, and cultural preservation parcel part of community mission
as you know in this country and in this economy, hardworking communities command the highest level of respect irrespective of their ethnicity or country of origin. We have the right tools; we are well positioned to provide sustained and effective support for developmental initiatives for vulnerable members residing in the homeland.


Peaceful Coexistence – Above all the aforementioned goals, our utmost objective as a community is peace. Peace in our country, peace amongst communities of South Sudan, peace within the Dinka Jonglei’s communities. Twi community is loyal to the collective interest of all the South Sudanese. We are a peace loving community as you all know. I want to keep politics out of this celebration as possible. But let me highlight a few things here. In politics, there is always disagreement as it in our lives in general. Politicians should disagree to agree. And they should do that along their political parties. South Sudan communities should not be held hostage or accountable for political disagreements. Peaceful coexistence is what we want to champion. Our guests also from Twic Maayardit, Aliap, Ciec-Manyiel, Atuot, Agar, Pan Ayueldit, Ngok (Lual Yak & Abyei), Tonj e Tungke thook and greater Aweil. I know we have people from our Nuer commuinties, from the Greater Equatoria and Bhar El ghazel region today, welcome. For our Dinka communities in Jonglei State, history has taught us that the four communities of Twi, Bor, Nyarweng and Hol have enjoyed peaceful co-existence since the time they inhabited the present Jonglei State land. We are one through sharing of the geographical land and what comes out of it. We graze our cattle together, we fish together, and we share the harvest from village to a village. And we are one through intermarriages. We are one because of internal migration. Let’s do nothing that will destroy this historic unity of sisterly communities. And remember unity must be attractive to all in the words of Dr. John Garang. For Twi Community members, my leadership will work closely with Twi leadership in Canada, Australia, Kenya Uganada and our leaders in South Sudan. I strongly believe we have one vision. It is the vision to help our people live a decent and respectful life in their respective places of residence. This vision could be achieved in many ways but what is critical is teamwork and unity. Twi community needs genuine unity to create the centre of attraction for all its members. As Twic works together, we will be able to work together with our sisterly communities in Jonglei, namely Bor and Duk community. The unity of these three communities will prepare us to work well with our neighbors from Nuer communities, Murlei community, people of greater Yirol and Mundari community. If this unity of purpose is achieved, it will make all these communities contribute positively to peace and development in the whole of South Sudan.


Community priorities – Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to briefly talk on (about) Twi leadership’s plans moving forward. There are five priorities that we the Twic Community in USA will embark on: First: Road Networks – The issue of roads in Twiland is not new to us. Some of our TCA former leaders had worked on it before. During rainy seasons, our people back home usually suffer a lot, due to lack of modes to transport themselves and goods from/to state and national capitals. However, to construct a road to link Twi to Bor and Duk is a big project. My leadership will consult with the government of the State, counties and locals to come up with the plan on how to go about this. It is important for our leadership to coordinate meetings on this issue. Diaspora alone cannot do it but we think it is an important project that is needed to ease the economic stagnancy for the State.

Second: Peace and Reconciliation – We hope that the implementation of the ongoing peace will proceed as scheduled. This will open up new chapters for communities to reconcile their differences. Our leadership will work closely with all the counties to support peace and make sure the few people who live in the villages are protected. We will support peace and reconciliation for our people to have security.

Third: Health – We know there are few clinics or health centers across Twiland. Few operate throughout but most close occasionally because of lack of resources. My leadership will first send the team of health experts to assess the Twi areas in order provide us with recommendations on how best to support these health facilities in Twiland.

Fourth: What to do for our families in USA? – Life in the USA has never been easy for immigrants or newcomers. Because of this, my leadership will work with churches and regional leaders in supporting existing programs that help families. My leadership will support States’ driven programs to help families and particularly youth to succeed socially, academically, culturally and economically. In addition, we support science based programs that mentor kids who have ability to have careers in science and technology. We will pair up students with professionals in their areas of interest. This will be our big project. We will also have projects to teach Dinka Twi culture and arts. In the process of doing this, our youth will learn about the rich culture of South Sudan and its diversity. We welcome your ideas on this.

Fifth: Women Empowerment – My leadership will support our women’s call for independent women leadership. As we have witnessed during our last election and in many occasions, women are very capable leaders. There is nothing a man does that they cannot do. We just need to work collaboratively with them and they will deliver things they are passionate to do and meet their needs as well as the needs of families and community at large. You have seen the strong leadership demonstrated by Yar Arok Deng, Yar Atem Dut, Aguil Mayen-Adiit, Ajiel Atem Wal and many other great women who have made great contribution not only to our Twi community but beyond. My leadership will make sure women will have same roles as men and we will continue to empower them.


Sixth: Education – There are Twi members who are innovative and have initiated great programs, including three of student programs which currently operating. One of those programs is the Twic East Girls Scholarship Program (TEGSP), established by three brilliant and hardworking young South Sudanese-Australian women to provide scholarship to girls who cannot access education. The women who created this program are, namely: Amer Mayen Dhieu, Abul Manyuon Mayen and Apajok Ajang Bior. This program does not only address the wide gender gap in education but also empower all families. If we empower more girls sooner, they will be like Minister Awut Deng Achuil, who is here with us, Grace Ayen Bior of the Voice of America, Nyuon Sibit William who now works for UN, Kuer Mabior Nhial, Akucha Mading Garang, Adut BulGak ( Adut Atem Bul) and Akuol Deng Reecdit. Akuol for example, came to Kakuma with zero education but now has completed university and working toward her masters. So to reach more girls and young women because of the merit of this program, my leadership in US will contribute money to this projects annually. Second program is by David Ayual Mayom Apioth. He founded an organization that supports education in Twic areas in South Sudan. As I speak, David has hard job to mobilize resources to support schools in Twic areas. Recently he succeeded to supply John Garang High School in Pakuor with solar powered-community lab. We will support his work because this is a great initiative and if we support him he could extend his services to other schools. Third students program is the Twic East Development Program based in Canada.This program was started by our smart and brilliant young people, most of who came to Canada through the World University Service of Canada (wusc) scholarship. The program was started by Deng Kuir Deng, Ajang Aguer , Thon Kuany Arok Agot and Chol Gai Chol Awer, among others. This program has sponsored Twi youth in Kenya and other places in Africa to have access to secondary education. My leadership is interested to support it. I challenge all the Twi community leaders and individuals to support these educational programs. My leadership will work closely with Twi leadership in Canada, Australia, Kenya Uganda and our leaders in South Sudan. I strongly believe we have one vision. This vision could be achieved in many ways but this is the vision. We don’t want to reinvent the wheels.


Advice to parents and families – I want to leave the community, especially families residing in United States, with these pieces of advice. Please invest in early childhood education. Try to save in tax free fund for your children’s futures through education. Also, ensure that you have life insurance for your family and yourself. If you insured yourself and should something like very bad accident or death happen to you God prohibit, you will have protected your family. I know it is hard to talk about these issues like death in our culture but there is a reason why it is done in this part of the world. We must do it to ease financial burden on our families in case of anything that would let one not continue providing for their families. Also, let our children get involved in community activities. Occasionally, our communities perform some functions as fundraisings, elections etc., and sometimes they are carried out not within driving distance for some families. Since families are sizeable to fly the whole family, parents usually choose to fly themselves to the event, leaving kids at homes. We may want to look into organizing separate youth activities. If you have good ideas about how to better do this, bring it to the attention of the community leadership. And above all, let’s respect ourselves and our families.


IN CLOSING – As you go forth, I want to challenge you all to think about community service as something we do daily, but something more than just an activity. Let us make real and meaningful changes in our people’s lives. To my Twi people in US, we must work together here and with all the Twi people around the world. We must respect ourselves and the image of our community. To our political leaders, count us in as your supporters for peace. We will support you and President Kiir to bring peace to South Sudan. To Jonglei community, let’s embrace unity of purpose. To all South Sudanese communities, let us support peace and reject violence and, more importantly, work together beyond all sorts of divides. Dr, Aguer Ajang, Deng Garang Gak, Mabior Dau, Ajel Atem, Yar Atem, leaders of Twi community in Rochester Minnesota and our regional leaders, thank you so much for making this event possible. God bless you and your families. May God bless us all. Thank you!



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