*This is the first blog post from a student of Christ The King School in Ontario. They have committed to a fundraising campaign for Gua Africa called This Time for Africa. As part of this campaign their students (aged between 12 and 14) are writing a series of blog posts about what inspired them to become active fundraisers. Please note the comments below are entirely the opinions of the particular student and do not reflect Gua Africa's.*
My class first heard about a man named Emmanuel Jal back in January. I was not very interested because I didn't think I needed to worry about him or something from another country. But then my class met Emmanuel Jal and I said to myself... "The things he is sharing can't be real life". Just hearing about his life in the war torn country of South Sudan and living through what he did...I probably wouldn't last a day.
Hearing about how he had to sleep with one eye open and a gun by his side, that is just despicable! Just imagine falling asleep to the sound of gun shots, knowing that at any point in time you can die right before your parent's, siblings, and family! Also, knowing if your mother goes to the store her chances of coming back beaten, raped, or not at all very high! And your father...he goes to work and gets shot or held hostage!
Think about your sisters and brothers not having the chance to enjoy a family dinner like we do almost every night. Picture having families running into your hut trying to stay safe from bullets being shot outside. Imagine watching your family members being attacked by a police officer and being raped! Can you imagine having limited food to eat, having to runaround naked because you can't find clothing? You may only get a t-shirt to wear for the next 10 weeks and maybe get it washed in dirty water!
As Emmanuel shared these stories, my heart broke. Listening about his life and listening to his truggles, I realised that we have NO idea what it truly means to fight for something. We are handed education, food, clothes, shelter, water - the basics of life. Emmanuel Jal and the other people of South Sudan have to fight for these things that we are just handed in Canada. It made me realise we need to do something about it - we need to help him, the people of South Sudan, and others who face these struggles daily.
This is how our Lenten Project started - we need to raise funds and we need to bring awareness to Jal, Gua Africa and South Sudan. As a society, we need to learn to not take things for granted. Hopefully our project will help people realise this. Join our challenge @ www.ctkcalledtoserve.weebly.com.