Malual Bol Kiir: South Sudanese peace and A human right activist awarded 2017 Voices of Courage Award!

Posted: May 12, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Junub Sudan, Press Release, Speeches

Malual Bol Kiir

Chelsea Clinton, the Vice President for Clinton’s foundation presenting the Voices of Courage Award to Malual Bol Kiir

May 12, 2017 (SSB) — The 2017 Voices of Courage award has been awarded to Malual Bol Kir, Malual who is the founder of the African Youth Action Network (AYAN), a NGO that helps the refugees and bring the youth together to reach their top potential and work together as agents of peace and positive change

Since 2015, AYAN has been working with UNHCR to reach out to other NGOs and help to bridge the gap between national youth and the youth from the refugee communities, and recruit other young people to work together as agents of peace and conflict prevention. So far AYAN has reached to over 2000 youth from the communities.

At the age of 23, Malual spent most of his youth amid war, witnessing an array conflict, massacre and of human rights abuses in south Sudan. What he believes inspires him to work for peace and refugees.

The award was presented to him in New York by Chelsea Clinton, the daughter to the former US secretary of state and presidential candidate Mrs. Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton

On receiving his award, Malual said: “Being a refugee is something none of us is proud of! You stand to be discriminated. You stand to be humiliated. You stand to be killed. You stand to have no freedom. I never thought I would spend three-quarters of my life in a camp.”

Malual was one of three outstanding youth recognized last Friday during the celebration of the 42nd anniversary of Women’s Refugee Commission.

Malual was awarded for being an advocate for peace and agent of change.

He has put an immense efforts to support refugees in building peace within their communities. Other recipients includee, Halima Mohamed from Somalia and Yusra Mardini living in Berlin

The Deputy Secretary General to United Mrs. Amina hailed Malual who spent his childhood as a refugee for his persistence and dedication in advocating for peace and for the refugees. The refugees’ communities are made of people like us, we are all the same, whether, black, white or green, we are all human. Mrs. Amina Said.

Malual is also a member of the advisory panel of experts for the UN Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015) mandated progress study on youth, peace, and security, he also recently participated in designing programmatic components for the African Union Youth peacebuilding initiative

The Voices of Courage luncheon  Awards Is an award given yearly to the groups of individuals that are making difference around the world through innovative initiatives led by brave and inspirational work – often in dangerous circumstances and at considerable personal risk.

Remarks by Maluak Bol Kiir, South Sudanese peace and A human right activist awarded 2017 Voices of Courage Award!

Thank You! Chelsea Clinton, for the wonderful introduction. I am greatly humbled and honored to be receiving this award today!

At age 7, I ended up at the Imvepi refugee settlement in the early 2000s in Northern Uganda.

Uganda has not only been a refuge for me and other refugee youth, but also it is the land I grew up in. I have learned from the experience of other refugees in the camp, and have learned to tolerate, persevere and patiently wait for miracles to happen in our aimless life with a future that seems bleak.

Being a refugee is something none of us is proud of! You stand to be discriminated. You stand to be humiliated. You stand to be killed. You stand to have no freedom. I never thought I would spend three-quarters of my life in a camp.

In 2015, I and fellow youth founded the African Youth Action Network with a vision to empower the youth and organize peer counseling sessions, reach out to NGOs to help to bridge the gap between national youth and the youth from the refugee communities, and recruit other young people to work together as agents of peace and conflict prevention. I am very proud to be part of this initiative. So far we have reached over 2000 youth.

The Global Refugee Youth Consultations introduced me and my colleagues to a vibrant community of young refugees and host community youth who are working hard to fight a war–a good war for a better world with no refugees. We are now connected at local, national, regional and international levels, sharing and exchanging ideas between refugees in Zambia, Kenya, Chad, and Uganda as well as with refugees around the world.

I have learned the spirit and the need for advocacy, where we the refugees have to share our stories, stories of resilience, stories of victory at every level. Thanks to the Women’s Refugee Commission and the UN Refugees Agency for facilitating and supporting every step of the youth consultations.

I did not make the journey here alone. I learned early on the value of peace and humanity from my parents. I grew up in a family that had never gotten chance to see peace, but a family that has never thought of revenge as a solution to a problem.

Thanks to my Grandfather, Mut Turoah Nyaweah who has always inspired me to follow the path of peace and justice. I have had a lot of support from my wonderful friends and family.

This award means a lot to me, but it does not symbolize the end of my struggle. I will continue advocating for assistance to my colleagues in the IDPs and refugees camps, in Uganda, in Europe, and anywhere else around the world.

I want to again say how grateful I am to receive this award—especially knowing that I work every day with young men and women who are equally deserving. However, I am even more grateful for the opportunity to be a champion for peace amidst this difficult environment.

Thank you! Thank You!  so much. May God bless you.

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 and the country you are writing from.

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