The Israeli Project of ‘Learn and Earn’ Offered to Our Youth is a Modernized Slavery

Posted: April 4, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

RE: An open letter to H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic: The Israeli Project of Learn and Earn to South Sudanese Youth is not a Scholarship but Rather a Modernized Slavery

Bek Dhuorjang Chol, Juba, South Sudan

Gen. David Uri Ben Uziel (AKA Tarzan or John), the Israeli soldier who fought with the Anyanya one freedom fighters in the 1960-70s under the leadership of Gen. Joseph Lagu

Thursday, April 4, 2019 (PW) — Your Excellency the president, gregarious greetings to you and best wishes. Mr. President, I wish to appreciate your tremendous efforts exerted to sign the revitalized peace agreement to ensure a peaceful resolution of the conflict in our country. The ongoing implementation process is applauded as a step towards sustainable peace and stability in our beloved country.

Your Excellency, I would like to contextualize on your speech addressed to the nation during the peace celebrations organized in Juba last October 31st, 2018 in which you call on the nation to revive the economy and lay the foundation for critical transport, communication, power, and agricultural infrastructure before the end of the transitional period. It would be better for young people to embark on agricultural activities by identifying farms and cultivate to supply our market at a cheaper rate as part of their contribution to nation building.

On the 27th September 2017, the first batch of 20 South Sudanese students were sent by the National Youth Union in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to the State of Israel particularly Tel Aviv the capital for what was known as the “Learn and Earn” program in Kinneret college initiated by H.E. Hanan Goder, the Israeli Ambassador to South Sudan, Mr. Oren David the director of Kinneret College in Galili and Mr. Nasim Hadad one of the staff of the college.

The program was slated annually to train those South Sudanese students in modern agricultural technology in order to equip them with necessary tools for tilling their own land upon their return. Those youth were requested to have a good knowledge of the English language, clearance from the police, physical fitness test with a very good academic background (University or college) certificate.

It was designed that those brothers and sisters will be staying there for a year program engaging in agriculture farms by doing practical work five days a week and only one day per week will be dedicated for theoretical an practical studies at the college.

I thought that it was a good gesture from H.E. the ambassador and that our national ministries of agriculture and foreign affairs have already made the necessary survey and studies on the said project before they could send the South Sudanese youth and students abroad.

Unfortunately, it turned out not to be learning at all as clearly explained below:

Students are transported from Juba through Addis Ababa to Israel, given visas and upon arrival are then accommodated in hostels and after distributing them; they are made to pay back all those expenses.  

What they do is not related to the agricultural program but instead are taught Jews education, history and then taken to do fieldwork. Hard work (labour) which is a very tough work for at least 15 hours a day nonstop where the work starts every day except Friday and Saturday from 5:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and those youth and students are subjected to do a work that the nationals (Jews) don’t do such as lifting heavy machines as porters.

Students are sent to rear cattle, spray chemicals on crops and fruits while not knowing if such chemicals might affect them in the long run. Students are asked to carry about 50-60 KG of the load for a distant of 10 hours walk with strict monitoring. Now as I write this note, most of those students are sick. Some students were compelled by the Israel farmers to be taking care of their old parent and do domestic works such as taking them to toilets, washing them, feeding them, etc.

Also, it was discovered that those youth and students were taken from South Sudan to work with Saveca Co.Ltd., a company owned by H.E. the ambassador Hanon Goder and other individuals companies that cut 10% of the student’s income as a levy for employment cost. When the students discovered that and all the cruel treatment, they launched grievances to H.E. Wol Mayar Ariech, South Sudan ambassador to the State of Israel and his respond was that, he acknowledged those facts mentioned above and promised them to be patient as he will communicate back to the Ministry and try to find out possible solution with the concern authorities of the program.

Ambassador Wol admitted that such a program was not studied well at the start but now have known the other part of it. 

It was discovered that students and youth were taken from South Sudan for cheap labour work in Israel but it was fine-tuned as scholarship so that it suits the taste and the students and youth are attracted to apply. Since life and living is very expensive in Israel, all that hard labour are spent on eating, paying contracting companies, pay school fees to the college hence nothing to be saved. 

Your Excellency, our youth and students are being subjected to what I called modernized slavery where they do hard work with very low pay. This is not a program that raised the capacity of our youth and students.

When Dr. Albino Bol the president of South Sudan National Youth Union heard that students have rejected to do what was not part of their being in Israel, he sent official voice record from the USA where he was (the writer obtained a copy of that record) to Mr. Oren David the director of the college and Mr. Nasim Hadad calling on them to deport back as soon as possible those what he called as misbehaving students who refused to comply with what was demanded by the Israeli farmers.

Albino Bol told them that I know the behaviour of my South Sudanese students, some of them don’t respect their jobs and the nature of the work and they don’t respect even the norms, rules and regulations of that kind of project. He pleaded the Israelites to take rigid action on those who are spoiling what he called good program.

I am writing this open letter to your kindness with the hope to intervene in saving the life of our young people who are subjected to such an inhumane act. Now there are about a hundred youth and students in Israel who are suffering under that program where they will neither benefit from the knowledge, technology nor accruing some funds for their survival. I believed what took them there was a lack of employment opportunities as most of them are graduates with various degrees and diplomas.

The recently signed contract with the Chinese Shandong company for the construction of the road will help them a lot as they help their country.
Our country with fertile and virgin land needs only the knowledge and modern technology to explore our resources that will put an end to the suffering of our people.

Thank you very much, Your Excellency

Yours sincerely,

Cc: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation

Cc: Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security

Cc: South Sudan Embassy in the State of Israel

Bek Dhuorjang Chol is a concern youth from Juba, South Sudan, and can be reached via his email: Bek Dhuorjang Chol <bekchol2017@gmail.com>

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

Comments
  1. Mickey Lazar says:

    My name is Mickey Lazar; as a Lecturer in this program, at Ashkelon College, Israel, i can say that if the program graduates will take & IMPLEMENT my lessons, with what i teach them – AFFORDABLE tools for Sustainable Rural Development, AFFORDABLE tools for Water Solutions, SMART AgriBusiness implementation, OUT OF THE BOX thinking, Water Systems based on Rain Water Harvesting, Livestock Oasis for Dry Season Challenges, believe me that these graduates will be the USD Millionaires in South Sudan, the future leaders of the country, those who will end food import from UGANDA and start EXPORT of Soy Beans to Uganda and more;
    I’m ready for the Challenge: to come and lead a team of 100 South Sudanese, Program Graduates, to transform the Nimule to Terekeka region in to the FOOD BASKET of South Sudan! or to become a major exporter of Soy Beans to Uganda under a long term export contract!! this is the major opportunity the program graduates are exposed to!! it is true they work hard in Israel at a pay of 8-10USD/hour for the work – 8 hours a day, with major increase for extra hours. How many jobs at this pay can be found for youth in South Sudan?

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    • Bek Dhuorjang says:

      Mr. Mickey Lazar, Shalom, I thank you for comment and advertisement as well. I think, it would have been better instead of taking South Sudanese youth to go and work as casual workers in the farms and do all that cheap labour thing for you to come to South Sudan as expert in that field to train those youth here and do practical work with them as well. Your lessons in that way will help those students and indeed the nation. When your government give students visa which doesn’t allow the students to work and then at the end they are subjected to hard work with low pay is what I termed as a modernized slavery.
      Those students were taken from South Sudan at the pretext of scholarship by Israel government represented by the ambassador Hanan Goder. This indicates that the channel of communication was official and there is a legal entity which the coordination was made with. If you are one of the government officials of Tel Aviv then you may follow that channel. Besides, my major concern is that, those students were given students visas written on it that students are not permitted to work but that is a different thing on the ground. after the student work, taxes are levied as follow: if we assumed that the higher income higher of student is 18000 Shekel, then out of that 2000 goes to the college, 1000 taxes, 60 for sim card, and renting depend on the farm ranging from 500-1000, eating 500 for food, subtract 700 USD for computers given to them, subtract the airport tickets etc. How much remain for them to save? Besides, in the Kinnerete college, if it happen any student absented himself from work he is fined $500? Furthermore, if students move to Tel Aviv and later on return to their areas, they are subjected to vigorous investigations including intimidations and so on. Some students are deployed to work in factories not farm such packaging of raw goods etc. IS that the pretext of scholarship Mr. Mickey?
      Now after raising this, the concerned Israeli Authorities mentioned are paying 1000 Shekel to the ring leaders among the students in Israel to silence them. Talking of Nimule Terkeka road, is this not the same Mickey Lazar who was banned from entering South Sudan after he was found to be bankrolling arms to the rebels in 2014? Is this not the same Mickey Lazar the retired army general who was part of Israeli Spy to Libya in 2011 and subsequent chaos in Libya? Enough, my people have suffered during the civil war and now need peace. Our dignity and integrity must be respected by all as we also do.

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  2. […] The Israeli Project of ‘Learn and Earn’ Offered to Our Youth is a Modernized Slavery […]

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