Juba, South Sudan. “Horns of vehicles in Juba are still tooting for joy. The long awaited day, 9 July 2011, will be written in golden letters in the history of the people of South Sudan who have declared that South Sudan is an independent state (…)”
With these words in a letter from the intercongregational team of “Solidarity with South Sudan” (SSS), Fr Joseph Callistus, CMF (photo) shares with us the joy of this people who, after dodging many adversities, have attained their independence.
More than 30 heads of state from Africa and representatives from almost every continent as well as 3500 invited guests were present to witness the historic moment. In his inaugural discourse, the President of the new state, Slava Kiir, expressed his worry over latent tribal conflicts and insisted that there are numerous issues that need the immediate attention of the new government. Nevertheless, words of hope prevailed in his message in which he invited the people to stay united and create equal access in opportunities for development.
The Papal Delegate to this occasion, Cardinal John Njue from Nairobi, pointed out three priority areas that need to be attended to immediately in his eloquent homily at the Cathedral. He said “peace, peace, peace”, “education, education, education”, “health, health, health” are the principal concerns of this new nation.
The participants in the intercongregational Project of “Solidarity with South Sudan” (SSS), in which the Claretian Missionaries participate, “are happy that these are our priorities too. We are working tirelessly in preparing leaders who will work for peace through reconciliation, we are involved in training of primary school teachers (South Sudan needs 23000 primary school teachers), we are involved in training professional health personnel (right now, registered nurses and soon we will be training midwives . . . We are very much aware that what we contribute is only a drop in the ocean, but we are joyful that we can be that one drop that will change the situation for the future of this People.” (Photos)