Friday, March 18, 2005


Gai Kur Akuei, 28, is a Sudanese refugee in his prime of life who is determined to start a new life in Australia, after fleeing the civil war that has ravaged his beloved country. But the road to the promised land is not for the faint-hearted, so to speak.

“I spent 12 years of my life in the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya”, Gai said. “But just when I had almost given up hope, I met a beautiful girl, fell madly in love, and got married to her in the camp”.

Gai is a young man in hurry. Since his arrival in Australia a few months ago, he has been seriously looking for work, and learning to drive for the first time; as well as studying English as a third language.

He has also been sharpening his literacy and numeracy skills in preparation for further education and training, which may eventually lead to a career as a community health worker - something that he really wants to do.

“I’m enjoying myself in South Australia, so far”, he says; flashing his white teeth. “My wife likes it here and the children are very happy”.

Gai has four children and his wife, Nyanthuc Alier, is expecting a brand new baby; their fifth child. He is the sole bread winner and a good father.

“I’m still trying to find my way around…being new to the place”, Gai says. “Still struggling to pay the rent and feed my family”.

Gai is not alone! In fact, for most refugees, life is a constant struggle for survival; even in the land of plenty.

But, what does the future hold? As far as Gai is concerned, getting a good job and regular income could mean saying good bye to boredom and uncertainty and hello to peace of mind and security.
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