Posts Tagged ‘Sudan’

Jesuit Discusses New Responsibilities of South Sudan

In August, Jesuit Father David Hollenbach, conducted a workshop for leaders of the Catholic community of South Sudan in the national capital of Juba and addressed South Sudan’s Parliament on the role of moral values in shaping the institutions of the World’s  newest country. In his article for America Magazine about the experience, Fr. Hollenbach reflected on the sizable Catholic population in South Sudan, and how the lengthy civil war has weakened the country’s society with the Church left as one of the few functioning bodies.

“The Catholic community in South Sudan especially shares the responsibility to help shape the life of the new country. Because of this important role, Catholic Relief Services and an association of women’s and men’s religious orders named Solidarity with South Sudan invited me to conduct a week-long workshop in August for church leaders. I was asked to speak about how the Catholic understanding of social justice and peace could contribute to the development of the new country. It was a humbling privilege. What follows sketches some of the suggestions I made, moving from the foundational principle of Catholic social thought to several more practical recommendations…”

1. The protection of the human dignity of every person, which requires active participation in the life of society, is the core responsibility in all social interactions, and protection of the most basic requirements of human dignity is the particular responsibility of the new government of South Sudan.

2. The people of South Sudan should be helped to become active citizens through civic education that teaches them how to work together for the common good of all.

3. Citizens should hold government officials accountable for using the power bestowed on them to serve the common good of all, and the capacity of citizens to hold officials accountable should be strengthened.

4. Every person is to be treated with reverence and respect, independent of ethnicity, race, or religion; tribalism is a serious threat to attaining the justice and peace that independence promises and must be resisted.

5. National unity depends on justice in the distribution of land.

6. National unity depends on justice in the distribution of the proceeds from the extraction of natural resources such as oil.

Click below to listen to an interview with Fr. Hollenbach on Radio Bakhita, the leading FM station in Juba, South Sudan.

Jesuit Refugee Service Director Reflects on Accompanying the Most Vulnerable

The Kakuma Refugee Camp on the Kenyan border of southern Sudan was founded in 1991 for approximately 25,000 former child soldiers from Sudan, often known as the “lost boys.” Within this city of refugees sits the Safe Haven, an initiative of the Jesuit Refugee Service.

Currently beyond capacity, the Safe Haven serves a vulnerable population – unaccompanied women and children, many of whom are victims of sexual and gender-based violence. Jesuit Refugee Service/USA director Jesuit Father Michael Evans, visited this work in March 2010, reflecting on his visit and experiences for Jesuit Refugee Service’s Voices.

“The camp is now bursting with 85,000 refugees living there, and a Kakuma II is being planned — and the JRS extended team has grown to sixteen. Along with continued pastoral care, dozens of trauma counselors have been trained over the years. However, the new work now includes a safe house for vulnerable women and children; the care of refugees with physical, mental, and emotional challenges; and outreach to those who cannot make it to the JRS Centers.”

Safe Haven in Kakuma from Jesuit Refugee Service | USA on Vimeo.

To read Father Evans’ full reflection, click here. Or to learn more about Jesuit Refugee Service, please visit their website.

Jesuit Helps Build Much Needed University in War Ravaged Sudan

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With over four decades on the continent, Jesuit Father Mike Schultheis has devoted himself to providing Catholic higher education across Africa including stints in Uganda and  Tanzania. In the 1990s, he taught economics at the Catholic University of Mozambique, established its first graduate degree and founded a research and documentation center. He also was  the first president of the Catholic University of Ghana. All of his previous educational apostolic work led him to his latest initiative of opening the Catholic University of the Sudan two years ago.

With educational opportunities in Sudan being among the worst in the world and adult literacy below 30 percent, Schultheis realizes that the Catholic University of the Sudan is a critical component in moving the country forward after almost 25 years of civil war. The founding of the university also comes at a critical time for the nation as it prepares for a historic vote in 2011 to decide if Sudan stays united or becomes two countries.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference established the Catholic University of the Sudan as a centerpiece of their national program to help the country recover from decades of violence, famine and mass displacement of people. The vision for the university and its development goes back even farther, to half a century ago, soon after Sudan’s independence from Britain in 1956. The idea for the university was discussed again when former Sudanese president Jafaar Nimeiry met with Pope John Paul II in Rome in 1983, just months before a civil war broke out in the county and dashed the university project yet again.

“The Catholic University of the Sudan, as a national institution, is a dream long deferred,” explains Schultheis. “

You can read more about the new Catholic University of the Sudan here. You can also watch the interview with Fr. Schultheis on the progress of the Catholic University of the Sudan produced by National Jesuit News last year when the school launched its second faculty of agricultural and environmental sciences in Wau.

Jesuit Uses Camera to Tell Refugees’ Stories

njn_DDoll_w_NativeAmericansJesuit Father Don Doll has seen corners of the globe few Americans ever will.

Fr. Doll, a journalism professor at Creighton University in Omaha, has photographed war-torn countries where refugee camps are commonplace. In April, Doll was with Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic relief agency, in eastern Chad along the Darfur border where he was among 250,000 Sudanese refugees.

Doll said his goal as a photographer is to provide an honest depiction of what is taking place. In an interview with the Milwaukee Catholic Herald, Doll discussed his work as a photographer and the images he has captured.

“I like pictures that show what a serious situation it truly is,” said Doll, who has photographed for National Geographic magazine. “Sometimes you can just sense in their eyes the horrors of what they’ve seen. There’s a heaviness in their heart.”

To read more about Doll’s work in the Sudan with Jesuit Refugee Service, click here.

To see Doll’s images taken of Sudanese refugees in Chad, please visit his website, Magis Productions.

Jesuit Uses Camera to Tell Refugees' Stories

njn_DDoll_w_NativeAmericansJesuit Father Don Doll has seen corners of the globe few Americans ever will.

Fr. Doll, a journalism professor at Creighton University in Omaha, has photographed war-torn countries where refugee camps are commonplace. In April, Doll was with Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic relief agency, in eastern Chad along the Darfur border where he was among 250,000 Sudanese refugees.

Doll said his goal as a photographer is to provide an honest depiction of what is taking place. In an interview with the Milwaukee Catholic Herald, Doll discussed his work as a photographer and the images he has captured.

“I like pictures that show what a serious situation it truly is,” said Doll, who has photographed for National Geographic magazine. “Sometimes you can just sense in their eyes the horrors of what they’ve seen. There’s a heaviness in their heart.”

To read more about Doll’s work in the Sudan with Jesuit Refugee Service, click here.

To see Doll’s images taken of Sudanese refugees in Chad, please visit his website, Magis Productions.