Images of South Sudan

Written by Steve Blacket on Wednesday, 12 August 2015. Posted in South Sudan

A resilient community

Prior to my first visit to South Sudan in 2008, the perceptions I had formed were based primarily on what I had seen on the news and the stories told by my South Sudanese friends. I pictured a land devastated by war, disease, famine and poverty.

It goes without saying that this is a land that has seen too much suffering, but what struck me immediately was the vibrancy of the community, the generous hospitality, the sounds of laughter and singing, vibrant colours and the chatter of diverse languages. This is a land of numerous cultures, and tribal traditions passed down through the centuries.

Within days I was adopted as one of the community, provided a home, offered a wife and given a new name. It is humbling to be offered so much from people who have struggled to survive.

The White Nile, Juba.

Juba’s primary water supply snakes its way to Khartoum, splitting and spreading over the low flats to create one of the world’s largest freshwater wetlands. The floating masses of vegetation that frequently block river traffic are called “sudd” from which the Sudan derives its name.



Afternoon Tea, Aweil

A typical café in the central Aweil market offers a selection of tea, coffee and herbal drinks.



Paradise, Lainya County

With spectacular scenery and abundant supplies of tropical fruits there seems no reason for suffering in this tranquil village. Yet just a few years ago this was the front line of battle, forcing the community to take refuge in the mountains behind.



School Time

Slowly school buildings made of brick and iron are springing up across South Sudan to replace the most common and simple of classrooms – a large, shady tree. For these primary school children that is still a dream.



Making Bread, Marialbai

Freshly baked bread rolls, straight from the oven in the main street markets, make an irresistible breakfast in any corner of the world.



Markets, Aweil.

Traditional staples are supplemented by imported goods, brought in either from Darfur in the north, or Uganda in the south – depending on factors such as which borders are open, the condition of roads and the value of the South Sudanese pound.



Better Homes and Gardens, Lainya County

Neatly manicured front yard, and decorated living rooms are proudly maintained despite the barest of resources.



The First Harvest, Aweil East

“The gap” is an annual period of hunger, generally lasting a few months, from the time last year’s grain has been consumed until the new harvest begins. Here an early crop of sorghum is winnowed in preparation for dinner or storage.



About the Author

Steve Blacket

Steve Blacket

Steve is the Managing Director of Fulcrum Aid, an organisation dedicated to sustainable freedom from extreme poverty with partnerships in four countries across Africa and the Asia-Pacific. Steve’s urban ministry in South Australia led to lifelong friendships among the South Sudanese refugee community who requested Steve’s assistance with community development in their homeland. Working with a faith-based organisation Steve initiated and managed various projects in South Sudan including Darfur refugee support, training and resourcing Traditional Birth Attendants, an intervention program for war affected children, a Midwives Training School, a program for girl’s education, and a community agricultural enterprise. Steve also initiated education projects and social enterprises among the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bangladesh. Steve returned to Australia in 2013 with a vision of how a small, non-aligned aid organisation committed to assisting early stage, locally initiated projects could make a difference. Partnerships and project opportunities continue to grow, including slavery rehabilitation in South Sudan, social enterprises in Bangladesh, independence schemes for vulnerable young women in Uganda and South Sudan, holistic care for HIV affected children in Bangladesh, and resourcing a Nurse and Midwife School in Juba, South Sudan. Steve’s vision drew support from across Australia and in 2014 he led the founding of Fulcrum Aid, dedicated to supporting in-country leaders and harnessing Australian partners and resources so that local communities could move towards sustainable freedom from extreme inequality and poverty. Today Fulcrum Aid has a dedicated team of Directors and an expert staff including Business, Project, Publicity and Research consultants, supported by Steve in his role as Managing Director.

Contact Steve by email here.


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