When Home is New
Meer Nyuon, 24 was born in Gambella, on the Ethiopian, Sudaneese boarder in 1987, her family lived there for five years, they had moved outside of Juba because of the war. Her family then moved to Nairobi, Kenya. After her father died in 1996 she moved to the Kakuma Refugee camp with her mother and four siblings. “In Kakuma, things were hard, if you lost your refugee card, you couldn’t eat and would have to get a new one. We barely had a meal a day, there was no electricity, and no water. If you wanted water, youd have to ask at the UN residence, or walk to Lake Tukana. In 1997 she moved back to Nairobi with her family, there she repeated primary school courses, but her mom struggled to pay her school fees. She completed primary school, high school and University in Nairobi, majoring in marketing and management. She recently graduated in September of last year and immediately moved back to Juba. “My first time back, I had a lot of expectations, I was expecting more, but feeling like I belonged, and being home was enough.” Meer’s siblings were scattered across the world, and only met 3 of her siblings for the first time in their life in 2005. “I didn’t know what to do when I met my brother, hug him, or cry, it felt good, but I was meeting a complete stranger, but he was my brother. It was a good experience to see them, still not enough, sometimes I feel like I don’t know them much. We’re all trying to make up for the time we never had together. Meer is currently employed by the EDC – Educational Development Center, monitoring schools. “I felt like I wanted to come home and give back something to my country, by working for someone like I am now, I am helping to improve education, reducing the literacy level in South Sudan.” “I think people should come back home and help build this nation, their skills are needed. Meer’s memory of Sudan before she left is Kisra, a pancake or thin bread prepared from fermented sorghum. “We would feed so many people with Kisra, our family, soldiers and my fathers body guards who were staying at our compound.”
Images © 2011. Portfolio design by Neon Sky.