Civil war is one of the darkest moments any country can experience. Times, when lives are loss and people leave their homeland to go find a safe location for their children's in the neighboring countries.
When I turned three years old, I was diagnosed with Polio; a virus that was very difficult to cure at the time because their wasn’t any medical assistance around in South Sudan.
Few months later, my birthplace Boma in Jonglei, South Sudan was attacked by the Northern Sudan Arab military and my family had to flee to a different country. The Ethiopians open their doors for thousands of South Sudanese and I was one of the them.
Walked for days until we reached Dimma Refugee camp, Ethiopia. When we got there, we settled down and Dimma Was our new home. There was no returning to South Sudan. We felt safe there because we couldn’t hear gunshots anymore. The only problem we had was unclean water and lack of nutrition, but we were able to figure out our living situation. As you can imagine, life was going to be very difficult for a kid with a disability, but I was able to overcome obstacles. I was able to go out and play with neighbors kids. One day they introduce me to soccer and from there I started playing soccer with my hands for 10 years. Crawling and kicking the ball with my hands with able body kids.
My mother applied for a visa in Dimma Refugee camp to migrate to America in the late 2004 with five young children’s by herself. Our visa was approved after two years of waiting for the answer. April 13 2006, was our final last month in Africa. The immigration bus drove us to the Addis Ababa international airport to departure to New York, where we will catch a connection flight to Houston Texas, our final destination.
Two years of living in America, I was introduced to wheelchair basketball by a church member and I felt in love with the sport; I felt in love with the game to the point where I wanted to take this sport back to my country South Sudan, but I didn’t know how I was going to do it.
After playing the sport I love and traveling to different states and countries to complete with different teams, I kept searching South Sudan wheelchair basketball online. Until I came across a video that was going to make my dream of coming back to my country to share the game I love into reality.
The person on the video was Jess Markt. The International committee of Red Cross (ICRC) sports and inclusion coach. I messaged him as soon as possible and told him that it has always been a dream of mine to bring wheelchair basketball to my country SSD. Jess replied immediately in 2016 and told me he will talk with (ICRC) if he can bring another coach with him to South Sudan next time he goes.
In 2018, I flew to South Sudan for the first time after 20 plus years. I never thought I was gonna come back home to share the game I love (Wheelchair basketball) with athletes who understand my language and have the same culture. It was awesome feeling being back home to do what I love and to reunite with family members I haven’t seen for many years.
Without the International Committee Of Red Cross, I don’t think the trip to South Sudan would’ve been possible. It was definitely an honor to part of the team and to make a difference in my Birthplace (South Sudan). ICRC reunited me with my roots and I am very grateful for it every day. I am Glad I took a chance to reach out to Jess Markt.
Review from Guidestar
It's the development of intention that matters. When I was 6, I had somehow come into possession of $5. I asked my mom for an envelope, and when she gave it to me, I put the $5 inside, and told her I wanted to send it to people who needed it more than we did. She recommended the Red Cross (http://www.redcross.org/), as she knew it as a charity that has little controversy and helps a wide range of people.
I am now 23, and with a job, can afford to give larger amounts to charities I support. However, what matters is not how much one can give, but the desire to create change – the inspiration that causes people to give (also the subject of this essay competition).
My parents/experiences gave me a realization that created this desire. What inspired me to give in 1998 (and to continue giving today) is the realization that we are all human beings, born in different circumstances, yet fundamentally the same. Without argument, we are all biological beings with similar wants and needs, and when those are not met (i.e., hunger), unhappiness spawns. That we are all human beings inspires me to continue pursuing human development. What I see as my current life goal is to start HUMAN, an international nonprofit human developmental organization that I hope will some day change all humans' experience for the better.
The Red Cross likely didn’t take much notice of my $5. But if the world can instill in many more people a realization that we are all just human beings, we will continue our progression towards peace, harmony, and ultimately, human happiness.
Review from #MyGivingStory