Dr. Apollo Gai Hunting for Scholarships for Better South Sudan

Posted: January 21, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Deng Kur Deng, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Deng Kur Deng, Pennsylvania, USA


January 21, 2017 (SSB) —- Dear Dr. Apollo! It is with heartfelt gratitude that has encouraged me to say THANK YOU to you and to your friends from various universities in the United Kingdom (U.K) whom have decided to help the South Sudanese. With that, I applaud your commitment and certainly feel the excitement for those who will benefit. As you may know, generations of South Sudanese were educated in our historical schools that were built by Britain in the early days, so these scholarships provided by Britain are building our relationship with the people of U.K.

However, your efforts and energy you have invested in search for better ways to help South Sudan are indeed recognizable in our next generation of scholars and I am personally captivated by your courage. You and I certainly believe education will shape perceptions of our people to think constructively and build a nation from nothing. There are no insidious motives associated with scholarships but pure national pride.

I thank you and your friends for making these scholarships possible for the South Sudanese whom may have not had a chance to pursue higher education. Those institutions or individuals who have decided to help the South Sudanese gave us hope and promise to look beyond the violence in our country. These scholarships they provided to the South Sudanese people are very uplifting and its make many hopeful; therefore, words of appreciation to you and your friends does not describe my excitement for those who have already received the scholarship and the many more to be selected in the future.

Yes, we have many obstacles to overcome as a country, however, through program you have worked hard for, it will allow a well-trained South Sudanese to return to the country in order to help reconstitute what have been abandoned or destroyed by the war.  Dr. Gai, war has discouraged me, specifically in the last 21 years of civil war of which I was part of as a little boy.

Needless to say I am dismayed by the current war that has put most progress to a halt, but your courage and that of your friends of South Sudan who see a good purpose for education in the country. This can change things for those who could secure a scholarship. As you very well know, we have backpedalled on many things and education is one of many things affected since the war was reignited in 2013.

You have heard repetitiously from South Sudanese politicians urging people to accept reconciliation and forgiveness, yet there are still generals who are hunting people down based on tribal connection. This strategy is not helping our country. As you very well know, our tribes are associated with suffering and death and this should not be how we look at ourselves as South Sudanese. In your case, you have not considered tribes in your decision, but you have considered South Sudan as a country; therefore, you are doing a greater service to our people.

Generally, I am very inspired when people like you try their best to revive our oneness by not only finding things like scholarships for all the South Sudanese, but by making sure that we are sincere nationals of South Sudan irrespective of our individual tribe, which have been ingrained into everything in the country. This is exceptionally great and people started to see the important of being open-minded to our diversity in the country. Many tribes are going to benefit from these scholarships and it is obviously quite telling because you are motivated by our common purposes as a country not under banner of tribal affiliate. Indeed, there are burdens brought forth by social problems in our country, but things many are doing including you have empowered us all to be positive and hopeful.

As of right now, security and the economy have deteriorated; therefore, people are very hopeless amidst these arrays of issues that have overshadowed our positive outlook. Many South Sudanese schools were closed and remain closed because of violence. Think about this for a second, I graduated with two masters hoping to return to South Sudan to be a policy maker in education and to teach, but conflict did not give me a chance to return the knowledge to the people. Generally, I am still very passionate about education, so I am elated when I noticed that there are South Sudanese who are serious-minded about education.

It is an indication that there is more we can do than killing ourselves in South Sudan. Vary input is needed, so I would like you to includes more girls as you continue to hunt for scholarships. Gender gap in education remains one of many problems in the education system in South Sudan, so for someone in your capacity, who is aware of this, you should at least make an effort to make them part of this once in a life time chance. If you are capable to get scholarships, you are capable to equally distribute scholarships across the spectrum.

All in all, I am deeply moved by the devotion and commitment you have exhibited so far and this is what our people should at least try to employ instead of employing violence to scatter our population and deplete what little resources we have as a country. Development of South Sudan is a goal for many South Sudanese, but our strategies to do so without education are very thin and that is why I appreciate your time and effort for investing in the betterment of South Sudan.

Such commitment is a symbol of hope in our country right now, so I would like you to continue to do your best locating scholarships for the young generation. It is our obligation to ensure the future of South Sudan for the next generation’s hands. You have done your part and I thank you once again for it.

This letter was written by Deng Kur Deng AKA Raanmangar: You can reach him at pananyangajak@gmail.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

  1. Gai Apollo says:

    Thank you all


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