When I was a Sudanese refugee in Ethiopia, we automatically grouped ourselves into our tribes, into what was familiar, and, therefore, “safe.” To our frustration, when the UN arrived months after we were living in the camps, they mixed the tribes in the camps in the hopes of preventing a future genocide. We were forced to live with our enemies. This act made us all uncomfortable, but sometimes you first have to be made uncomfortable in order to grow. In learning together, we crossed the boundaries of tribalism and discovered each other’s humanness – a value which should transcend all other bonds.
It is my goal, hope, and dream to build a school in my village in Bor, Jonglei State, to allow the tribes, boys and girls, to learn together. Through learning comes understanding, and through understanding comes change.
Check out this article, “South Sudan Conflict,” written by Jeffrey Toney and Nathaniel Nyok, as it highlights that education is a powerful tool that can foster a national, rather than solely tribal, identity. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/03/07/opinion/south-sudan-conflict.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1&referrer