Stories from Africa: Conquering Tribalism
Unity. Peace. Love.
Every day we strive to realize these things within our families, communities and nation.
Since the beginning of time, attaining peace and unity has been one of humanity’s greatest challenges. While our country wrestles with the destructive ramifications of systemic racism, other countries grapple with social instability rooted in ethnic tribalism.
This is especially true in South Sudan, where ethnic tribalism is considered to be one of the country’s most dangerous enemies.
Her Story from Africa: Awien Rose
22-year-old Awien Rose, a graduate of the Leadership Academy of South Sudan waiting to start university, is all too familiar with the concept of tribalism.
“It’s sad, but sometimes our parents and relatives actually teach us to hate other people different from us – people from other tribes,” Rose said.
This is what inspired Rose to write the award-winning essay, “Put out Hate with Love,” for Rights for Peace, a human rights organization working to prevent mass atrocities in fragile states.
Fighting for Peace with Pen and Paper
Rose’s entry won first place in this year’s Rights for Peace writing competition. She vividly tells the story of a young girl who is told by her mother to avoid “Mama Kiden,” a woman from a different tribe. In the end, Mama Kiden comes to the rescue of the girl and earns the respect and appreciation of her rival tribe members.
Rose’s story will be illustrated, printed and distributed across S. Sudan as a resource for youth encountering tribal-based hate.
“I hope the winning story will achieve some aspect of peace,” Rose said. “I hope S. Sudanese youth will read it, have a change of mind and work towards achieving peace in our nation because it is a collective responsibility we all must take up.”
Leadership Academy of South Sudan Empowers Young Africans to Ignite Change
As you may know, one of our main goals at the Leadership Academy of South Sudan (LASS) is to bring students from multiple tribes and backgrounds together in an effort to build trust and lasting relationships that go far beyond tribal and ethnic affiliations.
Throughout the seven years they spend in our Christian leadership program, we aim to help students succeed in not only getting an education but in using that education to ignite positive change in their communities.
It’s our hope that their love for Jesus overflows to others, prompting them to love and serve unconditionally in a way that transcends all cultural, tribal, and gender barriers.
Ultimately, our prayer for them is to become way-makers and agents-for-change for Christ. That’s the real measure of success.
In the meantime, we can hold fast to the promise of unity that God, in His mercy, has made to all tribes and nations – including South Sudan, where tribalism abounds, and the U.S., where gross injustices are rooted in systemic racism. (Isaiah 11: 12-13)
We look forward to the day that every tribe, tongue and nation sings praises of his saving grace. (Revelation 5: 9-10)
It’s because of people like you, that we’re able to invest in the talents and dreams of S. Sudanese youth, like Rose.
Thank you for empowering generations of peacemakers through your continued prayers and support. We couldn’t do what we do without you!
Could You Do Us a Favor? This Will Just Take a Minute.
Rose hopes her winning story makes a lasting impact – let’s help her out! Sharing our “Stories from Africa” raises awareness about the challenges S. Sudanese youth face every day. Even a quick share on social media helps support our students. If you feel inspired, please share the love! Click the share icon at the top of this post.