You Can't Kill Hope
In 2011, riding the crest of a wave of optimism, South Sudan became an independent country.
Only two years later, struggles between those in power led to a violent conflict that still rages today.
Tens of thousands of people have died. Thousands more have been the victims of unspeakable atrocities. Many of those living in South Sudan live with trauma in a state of fear and grief.
But the shared dream of many citizens that South Sudan can become a strong, peaceful nation isn’t dead. Not yet. That’s the thing about hope. It’s hard to kill.
The South Sudan Council of Churches is an organisation we’re proud to partner with. It’s a coalition of churches working across the country to build peace, harmony and reconciliation. They are the vanguards of the South Sudanese dream.
Reverend Peter is a member of the ecumenical South Sudan Council of Churches. He has dedicated 30 years of his life to peace work and psychosocial support, such as trauma healing.
Based in Juba, South Sudan, he is often mediating between the government, rebel factions and communities across the country in a bid to end armed conflict.
Rev Tibi is a peacemaker.
He directs a programme known as RECONCILE (Resource Center for Civil Leadership), holding training sessions for government authorities and communities to encourage an understanding of peacemaking.
‘Peace is a process. It is not a short-term event, it can take three months or five years. You don’t stop, you go on and on, until there is a sense of justice. My hope for the future is to see that South Sudan is a healed country, with restored hope and people living in unity and harmony. That is my hope. Many people are traumatised at all levels… this stops the development of communities. It takes time to see the impact of psychosocial support, but we have seen a lot of changes. Stories of healing, forgiveness and hope. I have a passion to see people healed from bad memories, trauma, wounds in the hearts of many people. For us to be able to do this work is enormous. We want to thank all those who sacrifice money, time, even their own resources to send to us… We are building a nation. A nation of peace. A nation of harmony. We want to thank you from the deepest part of our hearts. Thank you for supporting this work and bringing hope and healing to the South Sudanese.’
Like I say, Rev Tibi is a peacemaker. It’s people like him that’s keeping hope alive.