Wednesday, 22 March 2017

For me, the future is dark: Concepta's Story

In Australia, we walk by choice. For many people in developing countries, walking is a means of survival. Concepta from South Sudan is now headmistress of a pre-school at Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya. 

Here, she shares her story...

I ran away because of the war.

When the rebels came, there was severe fighting. I saw many heavy guns being shot. The battle happened at night-time but the bullets made it like day.

As we were running away I saw some people who were unlucky and were shot.

All my feelings were hurting as we ran. We had to jump over dead bodies. I had a child on my back, another in my hand, and I was pregnant. You don’t know if you will survive or not.

We were all captured and taken to the rebel camp. This was in 1989 and we were kept with them until 1993. We had nothing. Our clothes were gone, everything was gone, and we must live just like that.

I have not seen my husband since that night of the attack. I do not know what has happened to him.

My children cried out for their father. It disturbed me so much to hear them. But I know he is not coming.

You know what they did to my two young daughters. They were taken away by force to be ‘wives’ to the commanders. Until now I have never yet seen them.

Sometimes I feel like crying, but people say to me ‘Do not cry’, and you have to learn to live like that.

For me, the future is dark. There is nothing I am hoping for, even if I go back to South Sudan now. There is nothing that makes me happy. I am not happy at all. My two girls are not there. My husband is not there. My two boys are just here in the house, they have nothing. What can make me happy?

When I think about these things, I cry, but there is nothing I can do. Being only one woman what can I do? That is why I say there is no hope…

I escaped from the rebels when they came through the bush near to Lokichoggio. I became sick and so were my children. I was saying to them that I am going to get help for my children. I told them the children had no father, they had no one else but me.

The rebels did not want to release me because they had opened a school and needed me for teaching. They followed me, but I told them I am not coming back. Three times they came for me, but I told them I am not going.

The UN brought me to the camp at Kakuma. I have been Head Mistress at this school since 1996. It was me who opened it. In the beginning it was very hard because we have so many nationalities and communication is difficult.

Since the beginning of this pre-school, the people of Australia have been supporting us, and we are very much appreciating it. Without them we thought the pre-school would close down.

Tell them we are still working hard, and we welcome them helping us very much. They are the top people in the world who are assisting us. We are really thankful.

To support pre-schools like the one opened by Concepta, register now for Walk My Way. If you can't walk, consider sponsoring a walker. Thank you!

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