A Long Journey Home
Stories of Faith in Action 2009
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Akuei Ahib was only 10 when he left his home in Baidit, near the city of Bor in southern Sudan, to live in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in northwest Kenya.
Martha Akuol Akol is a refugee who spent 15 years with her family living at Kakuma Refugee Camp. She returned home to southern Sudan in 2007 to start her life again. Her life was touched by Lutheran World Federation's Department for World Service in both places. For more on Martha, see p. 23 of Kenya/Sudan Annual Report 2007.
Photo © LWF/Stephen H. Padre
Fourteen years later, Akuei with his wife, Ntandeng Adut, and their three children are starting their journey back home. Through the repatriation work of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Department for World Service in the Kakuma Refugee Camp, more than 4,600 Sudanese people returned home in 2007 and many more plan to follow.
Prior to their journey, Akuei and Ntandeng received education and training on water and sanitation, gender and human rights, and landmine risk, to prepare them for the challenges of reintegrating into Sudanese society.
Ntandeng, who became a certified tailor and received a sewing machine through this project, started the journey back home with hope and joy that she will be an active contributor to the family’s livelihood. Akuei developed skills and earned the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education that will help him find a job. He said that they had been in the camp for too long and it was time to be courageous and participate in the rebuilding of his homeland. Kakuma is home to more than 80,000 refugees from Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia.
To learn more about the ELCA’s participation as a member of the LWF, visit www.elca.org/lwf.