Nyanet is a young boy of 5 or 6 who lives near the school in Boma. Nyanet is like most boys his age; very curious. Two years ago, as I was doing research for my dissertation, he would come and hang on my arm, quietly watching me type on my computer. We would teach other the words for watch, glasses, and water in our respective languages laughing at our funny accents and pronunciations. He was bright and intelligent and learned English much quicker than I did Murle. Since I believe that education is key to peace in South Sudan, I really enjoy my time with Nyanet and the other children in Boma. I know that in the long run, SEA Partners involvement in Boma will have a positive impact on the children and future leaders of the Murle tribe. Unfortunately, in South Sudan becoming a child soldier is a real threat for children like Nyanet.
This past week I read an article, written by a South Sudanese government official, that powerfully connected two compelling ideas. The author not only claimed that education was the key to peace, but that education will eliminate the use of young boys as soldiers in South Sudan. Mr. Garang Malong Awan stated,
“The illiterate youth pay the heaviest price and they don’t comprehend how their lives are wasted. The mass suicide by our youth will change only if they understand why they should live. South Sudan’s illiteracy rate is the second highest in the world and is the major reason for the instability in South Sudan.”
I agree with Mr. Awan’s viewpoint. These children’s lives are wasted without an education. I am convinced that what we are doing in Boma is critical for the development of the children, but even more so, for the development of the nation of South Sudan.
“Education will make the difference if we invest in it, but continuing the status quo will give rise to the rebellions that will never advance the welfare of the nation. An African proverb teaches us that a man with a gun who has no agenda or ideology is a man eventually committing suicide. South Sudan today is full of men without ideology.”
The Christian education that SEA Partners provides to the children in Boma, is critical to giving them a vision and hope for their future. If the alternative is continued fighting and bloodshed, then we must do everything we can to educate the young people of South Sudan.
May God bless the children of South Sudan.
Donnie Brake, Ed.D.
PS. If you would like to help children like Nyanet, please give an online gift today. Your gift will provide Nyanet hope for the future.