The scars of a war are evident throughout South Sudan. There is very little infrastructure and unimaginable poverty, and the battleground relics litter the landscape.
One of the (many) visible reminders of the past 50 years, comprising a brutal independence war from Sudan, can be seen and felt in the story of Alek Mawien. Just like his country, Alek bares the scars of war openly – and like the rest of his compatriots he dreams of a future better than his past. He is a prime example of why JAM has continuously expanded its nutritional feeding and development programmes in the country for over ten years now.
When Alek was a three-year-old toddler, his village was bombed and he fell prey to the onslaught on the village which he called home, losing his leg in the raid. In that one tragic moment his life was changed forever.
When asked about his life and experiences, Alek shows little trauma or anger at his plight. He is unassuming, comfortable with himself and does not frown upon life. The fact that his opportunities for being a boisterous young boy are more limited than that of his friends could not faze him. Unlike his friends, he has never known the simple joys of running after friends, swimming carefree in the lakes that form overnight in the rainy season, and helping herd cattle – an important part of childhood and in becoming a ‘man’ within his ethnic group, the Dinkas.
Far removed from feeling deprived, Alek’s life is now focused on achieving success in the classroom so that he can one day fulfil his dream of becoming a teacher. JAM is helping children like him by providing food at school in JAM South Sudan’s Food For Education (FFE), as well as the General Food Distribution (GFD) Programme that is focused on families in need. These nutritional interventions go a long way in alleviating immediate hunger in communities at risk and provide a strong incentive for children to stay in school and receive an education.
Through helping JAM provide nutritious meals to children, our donors are helping JAM make a tangible difference in the lives of children and their families in South Sudan. If we can help these children in at least one way, we can help make sure that future generations never have to deal with the devastation that some of these children deal with daily as a result of poverty.
We call on everyone to join JAM on its mission to Help Africa help itself. You too can give them an opportunity to reach for their dreams; find out how. You can also email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.