Friday, November 19, 2004


There is always something new in the African community in Australia. And one of the most notable developments in recent years has been the emergence of numerous community organizations; focusing on the welfare of refugees and migrants.

For example, the Kongor Students Association (KSA) was recently formed by the new arrivals to identify and promote the interests of the Dinka speaking Sudanese students in Australia.

Thus, as the name suggests, KSA is an organization run by community conscious students who sometimes act as refugee advocates. Its members are drawn largely from the various universities and colleges throughout the land. The actual number is difficult to come by, but there are about 30 KSA members in South Australia alone.

The principal objective of the KSA is to help the young Sudanese who are still languishing in the refugee camps in Africa.

The aim is to maintain direct connection with the community associations in Africa, sponsor refugees, help them to read and write, and pay their airfares to Australia, if possible.

“We have just finished building a village library”, said Kuir, who has been a good member of the KSA since its inception. “We are now raising money for books, equipment, clothing, and writing materials for the kids”.

Thus, it goes without saying that donations from the KSA activists (and their supporters) in Australia is already making life a little more comfortable for the Sudanese kids in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

Meanwhile, more funds are needed for other projects which are still in pipeline.

Saturday, November 13, 2004


A star is about to be born. And I am over the moon.

Goaner Tutlan, a confident Ethiopian youth, who is now in Australia, and who as a nine-year old in Africa patrolled the Ethiopian-Sudanese border with an AK-47 machine gun has vowed to play football in Australia – a major career change.

In fact, his dream may come true. The Advertiser newspaper reports that the 22-year old is ready to be picked up by the Essendon Football Club next month. History is in the making!

If successful, Goaner would be the first Ethiopian player to star in the Australian Football League.

Thursday, November 11, 2004


It’s a long way from the city of Bor in Southern Sudan where he was born, but Gai Kur Akuei has weathered the storm (so to speak) and arrived safely in Australia this week after 12 years in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.

For Gia, it’s a dream come true. He is now living happily in a nice suburban house in Adelaide with his wife and four children. And Johnson Juuk, an Adelaide resident, is doing an excellent job providing accommodation for the family; facilitating the re-settlement process. A show of brotherly love!

Thus, it is probably true to say that, as far as Gia is concerned, the dark days of suffering and deprivation in the refugee camp are over. And days when Gia (and his family) barely had enough to eat to keep body and soul together, are but a bitter memory.

Now, as the new reality dawns, Gia and his family can relax in the privacy of their own home and sleep well at night without fear of intimidation.

In fact, at the time of writing, they are doing just fine, both physically and mentally. Thanks to the kindness of South Australians!

Indeed, Gia’s passage to freedom was made possible through the generosity of the members of Modbury Uniting Church congregation, in South Australia, who paid the airfare, pick the family up at the Adelaide airport terminal, drove them to their new home, and show them around this wonderful city of churches, as well as helping them make sense of their new environment.

Gia’s dream is to lead a good life and experience “inner joy” and contentment.