Earlier this year, we participated in a “live chat” through Catholic Relief Services with Malual Deng Duot, a former “Lost Boy” from Sudan. Here are some of the highlights of the chat, including his thoughts on the new nation:
Casey: What do you think it will be like to return to southern Sudan when it becomes a new country?
Malual Deng Duot: Thank you for you question Casey. It will be an adjustment. It will be new for me. I will still wonder, will it be safe for me to here? I hope for a big welcoming from my family and friends. It will be exciting. I wonder what expectations people will have from me because I come from the U.S.
Molly: What is CRS doing to make sure that the transition for the south to becoming a new country is peaceful?
Dan Griffin, CRS: Molly, good question. We can’t ensure a peaceful transition. We can only hope and pray. In the meantime, CRS is continuing our peacebuilding work in Sudan and our collaborative advocacy here and around the world. We also continue to ask people to pray, learn, act and give as outlined on our Peace in Sudan website.
Jen Rooney: Do you want to raise your own children here in the U.S. or would do you hope to raise your own family in southern Sudan?
Malual Deng Duot: Jen, thanks for your question. It is great to raise children in the U.S. They love it here they have good schools and friends here. South Sudan still lacks basic infrastructure like roads and good schools. But maybe one day we will return. Because I want them to know about Sudan.
TJ Miller: What can we do to help?
Malual Deng Duot: TJ, we are asking people to remain focused on Sudan to ensure that the transition is as peaceful as the referendum was. A great deal of work needs to be done to provide the resources for the appropriate development across southern Sudan. In many respects the hard work on Sudan is just beginning as we continue our focus on Darfur. You can visit our Peace in Sudan website to learn what you can do.
T. Curran: What is the probability that the government in Sudan will recognize the newly formed country in southern Sudan? If they don’t, is another reign of terror in the south likely?
Dan Griffin, CRS: The government in Sudan has said that they will recognize the new country as has the United States. The concerns are with the remaining issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement: how will they divide the oil revenues, where will the borders be, etc.
David Palasits:How can middle-school and high school students help young people in Sudan?
Malual Deng Duot: David, they can help through organizations here that will buy them books and help them with their schooling. It would be good if they could visit Sudan to see what life is like there. There is not much clean water in Sudan. They can help organizations who will build water plants and help Sudan get clean water. It doesn’t cost much, but we don’t have it in Sudan. I hope young people can help Sudan.