Archive for December 12, 2011

If I Was A Poor Black Kid

Posted: December 12, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Education

  By Gene Marks | Forbes
President Obama gave an excellent speech last week in Kansas about inequality in America.

“This is the defining issue of our time.”  He said.  “This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.”

He’s right.  The spread between rich and poor has gotten wider over the decades.  And the opportunities for the 99% have become harder to realize.

The President’s speech got me thinking.  My kids are no smarter than similar kids their age from the inner city.  My kids have it much easier than their counterparts from West Philadelphia.  The world is not fair to those kids mainly because they had the misfortune of being born two miles away into a more difficult part of the world and with a skin color that makes realizing the opportunities that the President spoke about that much harder.  This is a fact.  In 2011.

I am not a poor black kid.  I am a middle aged white guy who comes from a middle class white background.  So life was easier for me.  But that doesn’t mean that the prospects are impossible for those kids from the inner city.  It doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities for them.   Or that the 1% control the world and the rest of us have to fight over the scraps left behind.  I don’t believe that.  I believe that everyone in this country has a chance to succeed.  Still.  In 2011.  Even a poor black kid in West Philadelphia.

It takes brains.  It takes hard work.  It takes a little luck.  And a little help from others.  It takes the ability and the know-how to use the resources that are available.  Like technology.  As a person who sells and has worked with technology all my life I also know this.

If I was a poor black kid I would first and most importantly work to make sure I got the best grades possible. I would make it my #1 priority to be able to read sufficiently.   I wouldn’t care if I was a student at the worst public middle school in the worst inner city.  Even the worst have their best.  And the very best students, even at the worst schools, have more opportunities.  Getting good grades is the key to having more options.  With good grades you can choose different, better paths.  If you do poorly in school, particularly in a lousy school, you’re severely limiting the limited opportunities you have.

And I would use the technology available to me as a student.  I know a few school teachers and they tell me that many inner city parents usually have or can afford cheap computers and internet service nowadays.  That because (and sadly) it’s oftentimes a necessary thing to keep their kids safe at home then on the streets.  And libraries and schools have computers available too.  Computers can be purchased cheaply at outlets like TigerDirect and Dell’s Outlet.  Professional organizations like accountants and architects often offer used computers from their members, sometimes at no cost at all.

If I was a poor black kid I’d use the free technology available to help me study.  I’d become expert at Google Scholar.   I’d visit study sites like SparkNotes and CliffsNotes to help me understand books.  I’d watch relevant teachings on Academic Earth, TED and the Khan Academy.  (I say relevant because some of these lectures may not be related to my work or too advanced for my age. But there are plenty of videos on these sites that are suitable to my studies and would help me stand out.)  I would also, when possible, get my books for free at Project Gutenberg and learn how to do research at the CIA World Factbook and Wikipedia to help me with my studies.

I would use homework tools like Backpack, and Diigo to help me store and share my work with other classmates.  I would use Skype to study with other students who also want to do well in my school.  I would take advantage of study websites like Evernote, Study Rails, Flashcard Machine, Quizlet, and free online calculators. Is this easy?  No it’s not.  It’s hard.  It takes a special kind of kid to succeed.  And to succeed even with these tools is much harder for a black kid from West Philadelphia than a white kid from the suburbs.  But it’s not impossible.  The tools are there.  The technology is there.  And the opportunities there.

In Philadelphia, there are nationally recognized magnet schools like Central, Girls High and Masterman.  These schools are free.  But they are hard to get in to.  You need good grades and good test scores.  And there are also other good magnet and charter schools in the city.  You also need good grades to get into those.  In a school system that is so broken these are bright spots.  Getting into one of these schools opens up a world of opportunities.  More than 90% of the kids that go to Central go on to college.  I would use the internet to research each one of these schools so I could find out how I could be admitted.  I would find out the names of the admissions people and go to meet with them. If I was a poor black kid I would make it my goal to get into one of these schools.

Or even a private school.  Most private schools I know are filled to the brim with the 1%.  That’s because these schools are exclusive and expensive, costing anywhere between $20 and $50k per year.    But there’s a secret about them.  Most have scholarship programs.  Most have boards of trustees that want to give opportunities to kids that can’t afford the tuition.  Many would provide funding for not only tuition but also for transportation or even boarding.  Trust me, they want to show diversity.  They want to show smiling, smart kids of many different colors and races on their fundraising brochures.   If I was a poor black kid I’d be using technology to research these schools on the internet too and making them know that I exist and that I get good grades want to go to their school.

And once admitted to one of these schools the first person I’d introduce myself to would be the school’s guidance counselor.  This is the person who will one day help me go to a college.  This is the person who knows everything there is to know about financial aid, grants, minority programs and the like.  This is the person who may also know of job programs and co-op learning opportunities that I could participate in.   This is the person who could help me get summer employment at a law firm or a business owned by the 1% where I could meet people and show off my stuff.

If I was a poor black kid I would get technical.  I would learn software.  I would learn how to write code.  I would seek out courses in my high school that teaches these skills or figure out where to learn more online.  I would study on my own.  I would make sure my writing and communication skills stay polished.

Because a poor black kid who gets good grades, has a part time job and becomes proficient with a technical skill will go to college.  There is financial aid available.  There are programs available.  And no matter what he or she majors in that person will have opportunities.  They will find jobs in a country of business owners like me who are starved for smart, skilled people. They will succeed.

President Obama was right in his speech last week.  The division between rich and poor is a national problem.  But the biggest challenge we face isn’t inequality.   It’s ignorance.  So many kids from West Philadelphia don’t even know these opportunities exist for them.  Many come from single-parent families whose mom or dad (or in many cases their grand mom) is working two jobs to survive and are just (understandably) too plain tired to do anything else in the few short hours they’re home.  Many have teachers who are overburdened and too stressed to find the time to help every kid that needs it.  Many of these kids don’t have the brains to figure this out themselves – like my kids.  Except that my kids are just lucky enough to have parents and a well-funded school system around to push them in the right direction.

Technology can help these kids.  But only if the kids want to be helped.  Yes, there is much inequality.  But the opportunity is still there in this country for those that are smart enough to go for it.

President Salva Kiir’s Welcoming Party, Washington DC, USA

Posted: December 12, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

TIME:  5:00 P.M. – 11:00 P.M.


President Salva.docx President Salva.docx
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Declaration by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union on Sudan and South Sudan

-Declaration by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union on Sudan and South Sudan: (original version)

South Sudan: SPLM Urges Locals to Unite, Defend Nation From SAF Invasion
Juba — Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) Party has called upon the people of South Sudan Youth, Men and Women to Unite and defend their nation from the National Congress Party (NCP) of Sudan. The calls followed an attack by the Sudan Army (SAF

Analysis: Land deals “threaten South Sudan’s development”
JUBA, 12 December 2011 (IRIN) – Land deals done in newly-independent South Sudan “threaten to undermine the land rights of rural communities, increase food insecurity, entrench poverty, and skew development patterns” in the resource-rich but poor

Sudan: Why South Sudanese Will Triumph Over Sudan Army Which Is Forcibly Recruited
This is a total contrast with South Sudanese who had willingly joined the Anya-Nya movement which had no guns but traditional weapons such as arrows and bows and a few ancient guns from the First World War class of weapons like the ‘tasi’ rifle which

South Sudan: Corruption Cases Pending in Justice Ministry Says Anti-Corruption
The Commemoration which was celebrated in the Ten States of South Sudan and organized by CES Government in Juba was under the themes “zero Tolerance to Corruption in the Republic of South Sudan“Following the declaration of the President,

South Sudan: Luo Nuer-Murle Peace Conference Kicks Off On Monday
Juba — The Archbishop of Episcopal Church Daniel Deng Bul said Luo Nuer- Murle peace conference will take place on Monday 12 – 15th of this month as scheduled. He said the aim of the conference is to bring the two warring communities together so as to

Land Deals Threaten South Sudan’s Development – Analysis

Eurasia Review –
Land deals done in newly-independent South Sudan “threaten to undermine the land rights of rural communities, increase food insecurity, entrench poverty, and skew development patterns” in the resource-rich but poor nation, a new report says.
Sudan Tribune – ‎
December 11, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – A Sudanese official has expressed the pleasure of his country’s government with the series of uprisings that swept the Arab world in 2011, saying it ended the isolation of the Islamic rule in Sudan.
News24 –
This colourful guide contains concise information on 234 reef fish and 36 coral species found along… Now R153.95 Juba – Eleven people have been killed in new attacks in South Sudan’s troubled Jonglei state, where nearly 40 people died in tribal
AFP – ‎
JUBA, South Sudan — Eleven people have been killed in new attacks in South Sudan’s troubled Jonglei state, where nearly 40 people died in tribal violence last week, the state’s governor said on Monday. Suspected rebels under the command of renegade
Borglobe – ‎
Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 up to the independence of South Sudan in July of 2011, Jonglei state has been a battlefield with little attention from the government of South – ‎‎
Juba — The Archbishop of Episcopal Church Daniel Deng Bul said Luo Nuer- Murle peace conference will take place on Monday 12 – 15th of this month as scheduled. He said the aim of the conference is to bring the two warring communities together so as to
Oye! Times – ‎
Hilde F. JohnsonHilde F. Johnson, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General to South Sudan, has called on the Government of South Sudan and traditional leaders to stop vicious violence acts in Jonglei State. In a press release,
Sudan Tribune – ‎
December 11, 2011 (JUBA) – George Athor Deng, leader of a South Sudanese rebel group, on Sunday threatened to capture Bor, the capital of Jonglei state if an agreement is not reached with the Sudan People Liberation Movement (SPLM) before the end of
Borglobe – ‎
What is the primary responsibility of the Government of the South Sudan? Is Goss competent to provide indispensable thing called security to people or even protect its territories?
News24 – ‎
Khartoum – Heavy fighting between the Sudanese army and southern-aligned rebels in the embattled state of South Kordofan has killed at least 19 government troops, a rebel spokesperson said on Monday. “There was heavy fighting on Saturday in Warni,
Ahram Online – ‎‎
“There was heavy fighting on Saturday in Warni, in the far east of Talodi locality. The SPLA repelled an attack by the army. They left 19 bodies on the ground,” rebel spokesman, Arnu Ngutulu Lodi told AFP on Monday. The Sudanese army spokesman could
Sudan Vision – ‎
Khartoum – Spokesman of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF), Colonel Al-Sawarmi Khaled Saad revealed that the army cut off the supply from the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) by controlling Bohairat Abiad and Al-Atmour, so as to prevent the supply
Sudan Vision – ‎
It was first the Americans who wanted an oil deal between the two countries of Sudan and South Sudan before the end of July even if it was an interim one as proposed by Special Envoy Princeton Lyman. July had already passed and four months later
Radio Dabanga – ‎
Mireille Girard, the deputy representative of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in southern Sudan, told the UN news agency IRIN that since early July 2011, 20000 refugees had fled from South Kordofan, whilst another 30000 had fled from Blue

Editorial :Sudan and South Sudan .. Are They Ready to Reunite?
Sudan Vision
We never heard before that a new born state in the globe did what the Government of South Sudan (GoSS) is doing since its independence. Gaining their independence, the serious nations move immediately to build its homeland and future.

Juet Massacre: Genocide in Jonglei, South Sudan
By Michael Ayuen Kuany, USA (Borglobe) Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005 up to the independence of South Sudan in July of 2011, Jonglei state has been a battlefield with little attention from the government of South

Refugees in South Sudan Determined to Stay
Voice of America
December 12, 2011 Refugees in South Sudan Determined to Stay Michael Onyiego | Yida, South Sudan Next to the storehouse in Yida’s village square, refugees line up for food rations meant to last their families the rest of the week.

SPLM Statement on the Human Rights Day

Posted: December 12, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Dear Cde James Deng Angok
Please distribute to the media
Cde Bol
10th December 2011
SPLM Statement on the Human Rights Day
People of South Sudan, today we are celebrating the Human Rights Day to remind ourselves of those martyrs who paid with their lives so as to deliver for those of us who are still living the fundamental human rights which are based on the premise that “All men and women are created Equal” with all human beings being born free and equal in dignity and rights and that they are endowed with reason, conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood.
This day is a significant one in our Country’s historical foundation and is relevant to us all for we can be assured that the human rights and fundamental rights and freedoms enjoyed by many around the world belong to us too.
Today’s celebration of the Human Rights Day is the first of its kind in an independent Republic of South Sudan. Our country has become the 193rd sovereign nation and we signed up as members of the United Nations community. In other words, we subscribe to the Fundamental Rights and Freedoms such as the right to life, liberty, security of person and the protection of the law; freedom of conscience, of expression, of assembly, association and movement; protection of person, protection for private and family life; protection against arbitrary arrest and irrational discrimination; protection of the right to education and protection from inhumane treatment. These are all guaranteed by the South Sudan Transitional Constitution.
The SPLM Secretariat for Popular and Syndicated Organisations has supported establishment and training of many civil society organizations as enshrined in the SPLM Constitution. Our free media educates the people of South Sudan without fabricating negative information intended for agitation and disharmony.
The Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM) has laid down the foundation for Human Rights as delineated by the orientation to its members and the military (SPLA). It is both educative and an encouragement to note this chronology regarding the SPLM’s records of commitment to Human Rights.
·        SPLM’s liberation war objective was about freedom, justice and equality. It was and is still about elimination of all forms of discrimination. The late SPLM Chairman, Dr. John Garang, instructed the military (SPLA) not to attack the Sudan government garrisons, but to establish contacts and dialogue with Sudan government soldiers. This was successful in some cases and where the government soldiers were aggressive, it led into confrontation.
·         In December 1984, the SPLA soldiers of the Rhino battalion peacefully engaged government soldiers in a streamer/ship on the River Nile near Bor town. The government soldiers refused to negotiate peacefully with the SPLA soldiers. This led to military fight and government soldiers were captured. These prisoners of war were later on handed over to Sudan government in Wau in 1985. The SPLA late captain Bagat Aguek handed over the captured government soldiers to the then Governor of Bhar el Ghazal, General Albino Akol Akol. This was a major implementation of the Geveva Convention on Human Rights (treatment of the prisoners of war) by the SPLA that was still a rebel army.
·        In 1997, the SPLA captured thousands of soldiers from the government garrisons. These prisoners of war were released to the Red Cross by the late SPLM Chairman, Dr. John Garang.
·        In 1999/2000, the then SPLA Deputy Commander in Chief and Deputy SPLM Chairman, Cde Salva Kiir Mayardit, launched disarming of child soldiers in conformity with the United Nations Child Rights. Thousands of children who escaped enslavement by the National Islamic and National Congress Party (NIF/NCP) army and sought arms to protect themselves were disarmed and put to schools.
·        In line with the SPLM Constitution, the SPLM led government has appointed 25% of women into various constitutional and professional positions.
While the SPLM up-holds and puts into practice the principles of human rights, the Sudan government still presents a threat to peace, stability and harmony between the two countries: the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan. The NCP hostile activities include:
·        Child recruitment, training and sponsoring mercenaries and terrorists to fight South Sudanese at the border towns between the two countries.
·        NCP’s failure to respect cultural, racial, religious, gender and political rights and using these as reasons for discrimination and victimization.
·        Force recruitment of South Sudanese who are still in Khartoum to fight against the people of Southern Kordofan, Darfur, Southern Blue Nile and South Sudan.
·        Imposing economic downturn by interfering in the South Sudan oil export and creating insecurity at the oil fields in South Sudan.
·        Violating South Sudan air space and bombardment of people of South Sudan and destruction of properties. It is an economic crime.
·        Waging genocidal war against the peoples of South Sudan, Darfur, Southern Kordofan and Southern Blue Nile while the international community remains indifferent.
These NCP’s acts constitute a major threat to peace and stability of the region if left unchecked. It is on this basis that the SPLM repeats the call for the international community to impose a no-fly zone between the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan along the latitude 13° parallel north of the equator.
Bol Makueng
SPLM Secretary for Information, Culture and Communication

Sudan’s Lost Boys: Our hopes for a new country

Posted: December 12, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Socio-Cultural

South Sudanese celebrating independence in Juba

When South Sudan was created as an independent country in July, it offered a new hope and possibilities for a whole generation whose childhood was blighted by civil war.

Among the victims of Sudan’s conflict were 27,000 boys orphaned by the fighting. Known as the Lost Boys, some were forced to fight as child soldiers, while others fled and became refugees.

An estimated 1.5 million people were killed and another four million were displaced in what became Africa’s longest-running conflict.

The refugees fled to camps in Ethiopia and other neighbouring countries. It was a dangerous journey – many drowned or died from hunger. Others were killed by wild animals. Some of those who survived ended up far away, in countries such as the US.

More than two decades of fighting ended in a peace deal in 2005 which led to the people of South Sudan voting for secession in a referendum.

As the new nation starts building its future, three of these Lost Boys have told their stories to BBC Two’s This World, speaking about what independence means to them and their hopes for the future


Along with about 4,000 other Lost Boys, Kuol Awan was resettled in the United States in 2000.

“Start Quote

Kuol, one of Sudan's 'Lost Boys'

I feel like someone who has been away from home for a long time”

End Quote Kuol Awan

The 32-year-old has been living in Arizona, managing the Arizona Lost Boys’ Centre. It is the largest centre of its kind, helping its 600 members to adjust to life in the US.

Independence for South Sudan provided a chance for Mr Awan to return to the country of his birth.

He wanted to revisit the village that was his home until the age of eight and which he had not seen since. He was keen to search for any relatives who may have remained.

But much had changed. Shortly after he left, the village was burnt to the ground and people have only recently returned to rebuild their homes.

“It used to be a very close village. The way I left it is not the way it is [now],” he says.

Mr Awan tried to visit his mother’s grave to pay his respects, but it had been buried in the sand and he was unable to find it.

“It’s hard to kind of conceive. Where I used to play and see my family, now nobody is here,” he said.

“I feel like someone who has been away from home for a long time.”

He feels that independence promises a new start and a chance to make the country peaceful and prosperous.


Lam Tungwar was recruited into the rebel Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) when he was seven years old. He was promised an education, but instead he was taught how to fight.

“Start Quote

Lam Tungwar

Maybe we’ll be the food basket of Africa”

End Quote Lam Tungwar

“I didn’t know why I was fighting. No-one could answer me,” said Mr Tungwar. “I learned a different lesson, a lesson of war, a lesson of death, a lesson of killing people.”

Today, he is one of South Sudan’s biggest pop stars. He was heavily involved in organising some of the cultural events staged to celebrate independence.

He wants to put his own past behind him and believes the country should do the same.

“We are tired of being oppressed. We’re tired of our dignity not being recognised. We still have a lot to do ahead, to show our joy to the world.”

Mr Tungwar is optimistic that secession will bring new responsibilities and opportunities, a chance for the country to define itself.

“We need to start working. The whole world will not give us aid.”

“Maybe we’ll be the food basket of Africa, or maybe we’ll be the good example for the democrats in Africa.”


Paul Manyok has lived in exile in Nashville, Tennessee, where he helped to transport hospital patients for medical tests. He also worked in a cafeteria and as a salesman.

“Start Quote

Paul Manyok

A young nation will require young leaders”

End Quote Paul Manyok

He was granted US citizenship when he arrived, but feels he is both American and Sudanese. Like Mr Awan, he is involved with a community centre for Lost Boys and wants to keep Sudanese oral history and culture alive.

But he is still haunted by the day his village was attacked.

“The time they came, they burned houses, a lot of my relatives were killed,” he said.

“People are running like crazy, we could hear people crying everywhere.”

With a degree in political science and Bible studies, Mr Manyok wants to give something back to his new country, South Sudan.

“I would love to transfer the skills, knowledge, values and attitude that I’ve learned in peace-building and conflict resolution.

“I think with that I can bring some respect to Southern Sudan,” he said, “and of course, a young nation will require young leaders that might help the generation that have sacrificed so much.”

BBC Two’s This World: Return of the Lost Boys of Sudan will be broadcast on Monday 12 December 2011 at 19:00 GMT. Or watch online (UK only) via BBC iPlayer at the above link.

Heavy fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan, 19 dead

Posted: December 12, 2011 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Junub Sudan

Heavy fighting in Sudan’s South Kordofan, 19 dead
Ahram Online
The conflict erupted in South Kordofan in June between the army and militiamen who fought alongside the ex-southern rebels during their 22-year conflict with the north, as Khartoum moved to assert its authority within its borders ahead of South Sudan’s

Regional plan to make South Sudan the ‘hub’ of sea ports shipments in Africa
Sudan Tribune
December 11, 2011 (MOMBASA) – Plans are underway and some already at the implementation stage to make South Sudan the ‘hub’ of sea ports shipments for East, West and North Africa. These include projects to build highways and railways passing through

‘Lost Boy’ continues mission
Auburn Citizen
This clinic continues to operate successfully in the recently formed nation of South Sudan, and in fact purchased an ambulance vehicle that will help bring medical attention to more people. But Dau, a Lost Boy sponsored by the Skaneateles church 10

China urges Sudan & South Sudan to break oil deadlock
Sudan Tribune
December 11, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – China has encouraged Sudan and South Sudan to peacefully resolve their disputes over oil and border, warning of far-reaching consequences should the recently separated countries fail to do so. Sudan and South Sudan have

Chinese envoy: Preserving peace, stability in the interest of Sudan, South Sudan
People’s Daily Online
11 (Xinhua) — China’s Special Envoy for African Affairs Liu Guijin has said that preserving peace and stability between Sudan and South Sudan is in the interest of the two countries and China encourages them to stick to the peaceful option,

Sudan’s Lost Boys: Our hopes for a new country
BBC News
When South Sudan was created as an independent country in July, it offered a new hope and possibilities for a whole generation whose childhood was blighted by civil war. Among the victims of Sudan’s conflict were 27000 boys orphaned by the fighting.

IsraAID sends aid to Kenya, South Sudan, Haiti
Israel 21C
By Viva Sarah Press IsraAID has sent three different delegations to support its missions in Kenya (famine relief), South Sudan (supporting a rape victim shelter) and Haiti (medical, social and agriculture programs). The new relief missions were in