News from Rumbek
Loreto Peace Club visits the local Orphanage
Visiting the sick and underprivileged is one of the Loreto Peace Club (LPC) activities, which serves to help club members to grow in empathy and compassion – an essential foundation for peacebuilding.
With the support of MCC, the LPC works to promote peacebuilding, trauma healing and resilience within and outside the school community.
On 15th June 2019, twenty-three girls from the peace club visited the local orphanage, Pan Ngath in lieu of the local hospitals where they had paid their previous two outreach visits. Pan Ngath is a mission of the Missionaries of Charity that provides medical support and care for women and children in Rumbek.
These kinds of visits are essential for showing solidarity with the community and the needy.”
…notes Ms. Milcah, the club patron.
Upon arrival, the students, women and their children gathered under a big tree. After a brief introduction from both sides, the students and the women had a moment of discussion, sharing and listening to each other. In our community, many young mothers succumb to delivery complications leaving their orphaned infants with caretakers such as siblings, nieces, aunts, and grandmothers.
Martha Abuot, one of these caretakers explains, “This child belongs to my late daughter who was forced into marriage while in Senior 2 and with sixteen years of age. She had just started receiving her menses. She succumbed to complications during childbirth. I came here in the orphanage with the baby who is now doing well. I encourage you all to study hard and get rid of these vices as you are the saviors of tomorrow.”
One LPC member, Bakhita Athiei of Senior 3T encouraged the women and described her past experience with a forced marriage threat, explaining how she was able to overcome it due to the support of the Loreto administration. She advised, “I encourage all of you that you can battle these vices and survive. Though it is not easy, together we can achieve success. It’s education that will open for us the doors to success.”
One of our clinic nurses Ms. Gloria accompanied the girls to the orphanage and also encouraged the women, “Sometimes life is not easy. Forget your past, focus and hope in the future as you live happily each day. These children are the leaders of tomorrow.” The students also visited a ward of mentally ill women and encouraged them as well.
After sharing, the peace club members engaged in play with the children and some of the women. They played volleyball, badminton and skipping rope. After the joyous play, they shared snacks with the women and children.
The girls also presented infant care kits for the babies – these kits were donated by MCC. The women received the kits with great joy and appreciation. One of the Sisters that serves at Pan Ngath explained, “The kits will be useful to nursing babies who come in from time to time as they come with various needs. We received some in 2016 and they were really helpful. We are so grateful.”
The women were so grateful that they couldn’t hide their immense joy. “We feel that there are more people who love us. We are grateful for paying us this visit and the items you brought us. Thank you for encouraging us and we will continue hoping in God. Talking with you helps lessen the burdens of our hearts,” said Helena, one of the beneficiaries.
The LPC members enjoyed the visit and hope to continue these outreach activities. According to Rosanna Nyanwaat, “We enjoyed time with the babies as we carried the little ones. We also enjoyed playing several games with them and it helps them bond with each other. All of them were happy about the visit.”
We hope that through these visits, the girls will further develop their capacity for compassion and empathy, and spread peace and love regardless of cultural diversity for a united South Sudan.