South Sudan: A Country in Need
Gunfire. Explosions. The rapid footsteps of soldiers. Bol Aweng, a six-year-old boy in Piol, South Sudan, found himself amidst the fighting of the Sudanese Civil war. Soon after fighting reached his village, he was forced to flee Sudan and embark on a 1,500-mile journey alone. After a full year of walking, he found himself in a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Four years later he was forced to head for Kenya where he stayed in a refugee camp for a decade before being chosen to move to America.
Aweng was initially placed in Nashville, Tennessee and later moved to Columbus, Ohio to attend Ohio State University. After earning his college degree, he decided to go back to his village of Piol. He was shocked to learn that the place that he once knew was now in rubble due to the war. But he also found that his entire family had survived. After seeing what the civil war had done to his village, he decided to take action and help his family and friends.
Bol then started a charity benefiting his village in South Sudan and Bexley Middle School (BMS) has pledged to help. In five years, BMS students have raised over $32,000 and are still working to raise more.
“Our South Sudan project is in its sixth year, and every year it is more and more rewarding as students are inspired to help Bol, his village, and the Buckeye Clinic,” said Beth Jax, BMS Individuals and Societies teacher.
Over the years BMS has helped fund The Buckeye Clinic, a place that the residents of Piol and neighboring villages can visit to receive professional medical care. Money raised by BMS students have also helped to create a water catchment system to provide access to clean water.
“I think that it’s really important to know a lot about history and different kinds of people,” said Talia Kahan, BMS seventh grade student. “Learning about the current crises that might not be next door to us has taught us to be grateful for everything that we have.”
South Sudan is now in another civil war and facing the worst famine in African history. The Buckeye Clinic and the people of South Sudan need help more now than ever before. BMS seventh grade students are aiming to raise another $6,000 this year through various fundraising events, sponsorships and donations.
More information on the South Sudan project and its fundraising events can be found on the district calendar. Donations can be sent to 300 S. Cassingham Rd, and checks made out to “BMS for South Sudan.”