This Lent, we learn more about the suffering of people who have lost their homes and loved ones to war, and how they are rebuilding their lives through love, friendship and solidarity. Awut and Ajak lost their homes and loved ones to the conflict in South Sudan. They fled their villages with nothing but the clothes on their back,trekking through miles of dangerous bushland with no food or water for themselves or their children. Awut arrived in the community of Malek frightened, but was welcomed with loving arms by her new neighbours. Some time later, Ajak returned to Malek after having been away withher husband who was a soldier. Here,in this remarkable community, people whose lives were brought together by pain and suffering are starting new lives based on love, friendship and kindness. Every day remains a struggle for Awut and Ajak and their families. They struggle to earn money, grow food and attend school. Life continues to be full of challenges and obstacles for these amazing women, but they face these challenges together, with dignity and solidarity.
Their lives have been torn apart by a war they never wanted. This is the injustice of war. It is not just that they lost their homes. It is not just that they struggle each day to survive. They are supporting each other but they are living in fear, and it is not just.These two remarkable women were strangers when they lost their homes and their husbands to South Sudan’s brutal war. Far away from the villages they once called home, they are working hard together to rebuild fromthe ashes of war.
After Awut’s husband was killed, she fled with the eight children she was looking after, trekking through the dangerous bushland until she arrived at Malek. There, she was welcomed by the peopleand given her own patch of land. Awut still finds it hard to talk about this time. She feared herself and her family would
die stranded in the dangerous bushland,trying to flee the war.