The Situation in Sudan Jill Hardy Huntington Beach High School
I love 5 th grade Make a list of everything you can remember from 5 th grade Songs Clothes Movies Toys School activities
In class reading assignment My name is Daniel Mabut Garang. I am Sudanese by nationality, Dinka by tribe. I was born 19 years ago in a town called Bor. I am the first born of my father and mother. My father was a farmer and also owned a store. Like many people in the Dinka tribe, when I was younger we depended on dairy cattle for our living. We Dinkas also cultivated crops. I lived a happy life in the countryside with my father, mother, grandfather and uncles. But when war broke out, our lives changed completely.
In the early 1980s, the Arabs began bombing our countryside from their planes and killing people. They attacked us all the time. They also raided our cattle and burnt down our store when we ran away for safety. Life became very difficult for us.
When I was 6 years old, they attacked us badly. They killed my father, mother and two uncles. After this happened, I fled to the forest, where I joined other children. I didn't know which direction to take or where to go. I lived in hunger and thirst and ate only wild berries. Wild animals from the forest fed on us children of Sudan. But God kept some of us.
After one month in the forest I reached a place called Panyidu on the Ethiopia border. In Panyidu, UNHCR (the UN High Commissioner for Refugees) came to help us children of Sudan. They provided us with food, shelter, medical treatment and schooling. If they hadn't helped us, we would have died of hunger.
We stayed in Ethiopia for four years, until war broke out there too, and we had to flee again. Before we reached the Sudanese border, gunmen reached us children of Sudan at the river Gilo. They fired on us with their guns and tanks. Then we children of Sudan ran into the river and most of us children died in the river. Some ran along the river into the forest, where many still live.
Some of us crossed the river by holding a long rope that we tied from tree to tree. As we crossed, we tried hard to kick the water so that we could get to the other side. Those of us children who died that time are too many to be counted. For days, we walked, eating grass like animals, back to Sudan.
Then we reached a town called Pochalla where we children lived in hunger, drinking only water until the Red Cross and UNICEF came and helped us with food and many other things we needed.
I stayed in Pochalla for 6 months. Then in 1992, Ethiopian gunmen forced us to flee again. We walked for months before reaching Kenya. During our journey to Kenya, the Red Cross dropped food and water into the forest. Without this help, we all would have died of hunger. I want to thank the Red Cross and everyone all over the world who thought of my great suffering and helped us. I thank everybody who contributed to help Sudanese children during this disaster.
When we reached Kakuma, Kenya, UNHCR took care of us children of Sudan in the camp, providing us with shelters, food, clothes and education. I lived there for eight years under the care of UNHCR.
Then finally, America heard about us Sudanese children. They brought me here to the United States, and now I am living in Houston, Texas. I don't know what kind of help the United States can give to me to make up for the hard life I experienced since I was 6 years old. I know the most important thing is for me to get an education.
I hope the United States government can bring peace in Sudan. Coming to America will not ease all my burdens. Only peace in Sudan can do that for me and all Sudanese children.
Quick write When the students are done, have them write a few sentences about the contrast of their 5 th grade year to the lives of the lost boys when they were 10 years old. Discuss their reaction to the article as a class.
Maps The hotlist has two maps. The first map shows the trail that the lost boys took into Ethiopia, then back to Sudan on their way to Kenya. The second map shows all of Sudan. The current unrest is in the Darfur region, which is a different part of the country than the first map.
Homework Look up and read the links in the “background” category on the hotlist. Propose at least 5 actions that the international community can take to help the people of Sudan.
Day 2 Activity Combining proposals Presenting combined proposals to the class
Homework Look up the resolutions in the “Security Council” category of the hotlist and use them to write about each of the following: 1) Compare and contrast the UN resolutions to the proposals made by the class. 2) Make an argument for or against the use of peacekeeping troops in Sudan. Additional articles to support the students’ arguments can be found in the “Secretary General” and “Security Council” sections of the hotlist.
Optional Day 3 discussion Discuss the observations made in comparing the Security Council resolutions to the class proposals and the arguments for and against using peacekeeping troops in Sudan.