For a few fleeting years after South Sudan's independence in 2011, the most dangerous part of daily life was the presence of thousands of unexploded land mines throughout the new country. You can purchase and bury one for a dime, but it will cost you $1,000 to remove it. After independence, highly-specialized mine removal teams worked slowly and cautiously, clearing only a small patch of land per day. But now, those teams cannot work. Another danger has displaced them: war. People are again running through the bush (where the mines lurk unseen) to escape the violence and the killing that can be seen. No place is safe.
One of the amazing things about working in developing countries is seeing the practical ingenuity of the people. They manage to create revenue-generating activity on every scrap of space, whether it's a quarter-acre farm or a single square meter holding a makeshift table beside a busy road. As a result, you can find nearly anything -- much of it "gently used", of course. This fellow in Haiti hawks phone chargers, wall outlets, and all the wire you need to make sparks fly.
A few weeks ago MBB Scholars Lilly, Joyce and Tabu were typical students, diligently studying at their respective high schools in South Sudan. Then the civil war engulfed them. They fled on foot into the bush, trying to escape but the soldiers caught up with them. Adults running with them were raped and murdered. The girls were robbed and beaten but then released. Moving through the bush, staying away from main roads, they eventually made their way into Uganda. Now they are officially refugees. This tent is now "home" for the three of them.
MBB scholarships coordinator Sr Edvine is in process of registering them into a local high school where classroom routine might offer some counterbalance to their trauma.