I am a feminist advocating for peace, equality, justice and women’s rights with a grassroots national non-governmental organization called Mundri Relief and Development Association. I am also a co-founder of Play for Peace South Sudan, an initiative that brings children, youth and adults from conflicting cultures together through cooperative play to create laughter, compassion, unity and peace. Playing basketball is my hobby.
I grew up as a refugee in Uganda. Many people, especially women and children who have been in the camps, know it is a painful experience. Refugees and internally displaced people are seen as outcasts in society. Rape is common and there is limited access to basic needs such as food, clothes, clean water, shelter and education. I had to deny my South Sudanese nationality to gain privileges like education.
This harsh experience made me thirsty for peace, equal rights and justice.
I want to promote peace so that I can see positive change, and so that other human beings don’t have to go through the same experience as mine. I am advocating for change through community dialogues and using theatre to raise awareness on peaceful coexistence and gender equality. I speak to people in internally displaced camps, schools, churches and markets.
In December 2013 growing tensions in South Sudan erupted into violence, just three years after the country gained independence from Sudan. The crisis has since forced more than 400,000 people to flee to neighbouring countries and more than 200,000 people are internally displaced.
The path to lasting peace requires addressing not only the immediate issues of the December 2013 crisis but also those that existed long before independence. It is important to include women in peace talks and seek the help of the international communities to implement the peace agreements so they don’t just remain on paper. We must also plant the seed of peace in children in order to see everlasting unity.