By Longar Mathiec Wol, Nairobi, Kenya
January 10, 2017 (SSB) — They call them fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters and we call them fallen heroes/heroines. The war of struggle for the independence of South Sudan brought about mixed effects; positive and negative. Positive in sense that we got independence and negative because the hopes have never been fulfilled. That independence cost us lives. The life of those we call heroes or heroines. That damage caused by losing these relatives is unrepairable.
The pain of losing the father, mother or relative. After these children’s parents gave up their life to free us; their children become a victim of their heroic act. They roam on the streets of ever states in south Sudan and we call them street children without knowing that their parents’ lives gave us homes we live in. We don’t bother to question what pushed them to the streets but we kick them out in our houses when they want place to sleep, when the want food to eat.
If their parents resurrect from death, they will call us all kind of names and will never accept to offer their precious life again for our freedom. They will know that what they did has benefited few not the way they expected. They will know that they were praiseworthy when they were alive but not after they passed way. They will know that country only knows them when they are a live but not after they are gone.
It was not their fault to make us free people. It was their wish that the next generation will not go through the same suffering they went. But after they are gone their children are going through most tough time like what they went through. It is a dream that has never come true. It is a dream we wish one day their children will live a comfortable life; and that is exactly why they give up their lives. They did it with hope that their love ones will never ever go through the same problems they went.
They gave up their lives knowing that their children will go to good schools, live in good houses, and have good health care system. The thing they missed in their entire life. But only for their children to end up on the streets of the country and we give all kind of names to them not knowing that these are children of martyrs. These are the children of the people we celebrate every 30th of July every year and we don’t care for them.
These people will curse us if we don’t change and make sure their loves one are accommodated and live a comfortable life like the rest. There would be know rest in our beloved country. The blood of these people is hot, some of them died of thirsty on their way to Bilpam and again their children are dying of thirst in the country, the cities the fought for. The country when you don’t have money to buy water you can’t drink.
The country when you don’t have money to rent the hotel room you can’t have a good sleep. Because in residential areas there is utilities (water, electricity) and security. Security is only preserve for the few, the most powerful in the country and the poor are left vulnerable. We are displaced in our own home where we hope that when we achieve what we fought for we will live comfortable life. The dream has been shattered. The hopeful become hopeless.
These children don’t have money to go school. They free education has never come true or is not well organize to educate these children. I think there are cartels who don’t want to see the real free education that has been promised in SPLM manifesto of 2005. They don’t have money to go to hospital, malaria kill them like dogs on the country streets.
I know some will ignore and claim to more. But what are we doing for these children? Is there a hope for them? When is that hope going to be realize or materialize on the ground? Let us not expect anything good if we don’t make the live of these orphans roaming on the street of the country good. When we beat them on the streets and they cry we think what roll down in their eyes are just normal tears. This tears are bitter and they can curse our nation. When they cry someone who beat them think he or she does something good but in those children mind they think of their fathers and mothers who perish because of south Sudan.
In case if there is life after death, if their parents turn down their eyes to see the life of their children after their death it will be shameful situation to our country. Their eyes glow fire of curse. The will blame not only the government, the will also blame their close relatives and friends who turn their back to their children to suffer. Who they felt they let them down, they betrayed them.
Let us revisit our strategy toward these children. When I was in Wau I met one street child (name withheld for privacy purpose). I call him, we sat down and talk. I asked him some of the questions including why he abundant his home. What he told me was shocking. He told me that he has nowhere to stay. He told me his mother was kill by Maralin and his father killed in battle field during liberation struggle.
I ask him if there are no relatives who can stay with him. He told me his uncle chased him away and his grandmother is too weak to provide for him. I ask him whether grandmother can accept him back to stay with him, he told me he has never seen grandmother for the last seven years and he not sure whether she still alive or passed on.
I question him again whether he was ready to go and stay with his grandmother if by any chance he still alive. He told me he has no transport and he is willing to go back. I have no word but to put my hand in my pocket to give him transport money for two ways going and coming, in case he won’t get his grandmother and there is no one ready to stay with him he can use the other money to come back.
That is the life of where the children of the people we call martyrs live every day. They live in painful life. The life of hopelessness, they live in my one day world, when you live for that day you thank God and wait for tomorrow because death can come any time since they sleep on streets.
Let us show these children that we valued what their parent did to us. Let us show them that their parents were patriotic. Let us show them that there is a hope for the child of someone who gave up his or her life for this country. Let us show them they are not alone. Let them know that their pain is our pain. Let them know that their parents didn’t died in vain. Let us give them hope that is what they all need.
Let us erase this life with uncertainty and let them know all is well. Let us restore hope in them. They are innocent, their vulnerability is a curse to our nation. But that is not the case since we are busy creating more orphans, widows and widowers and doing less to raise their living standard.
If you and I put my selves in that life we will see how unbearable it is. If we all put ourselves in their position that is the time when we will know that all is not well. Let us do something to rescue the situation now, not later. We should let them know that their parents made a right choice to sacrifice for our freedom. This is not only for the government each one of us is required to do something.
Sending police to collect them from the town’s streets and dump them somewhere is not the solution. Let build them children homes with basics, water, education and many. Let us not ignore them their destiny is interlink with our destiny because no one knows when your day to leave this world will come. Your child/children might be beneficiary of these services.
The author, Longar Mathiec Wol, is a South Sudanese student at United States International University-Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, where he is pursuing Bachelor degree of Science in International Business Administration and Minoring in International Relations. He can be reached through email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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