Applying RC in South Sudan

I started RC in Yei in South Sudan in 2006, after an introduction by Wanjiku Kironyo.1 I lived a life for more than twenty years without both parents; only my granddad and grandma. Growing up, I experienced hatred—watched beatings, looting of properties, raping, and killing. It was a turning point in my life when I learned RC, when I was introduced by Wanjiku to the theory that there is nothing wrong with any human being except the result of mistreatment and oppression.

I have been using RC since then. It has changed my life tremendously in the sense that I have been able to identify my own problems and get a way of coming out of them. That has helped my family, too. I was able to unite my mother and father after twenty-three years of separation.

My dad was in Khartoum (Sudan) during the war. He came back to Juba (South Sudan). I was working for an NGO (non-governmental organization). When he came, some of my relatives asked me to go see him. I felt so angry, and I said I didn’t want to. But then I picked up the book on basic RC theory and was reading about how humans were created perfectly without any problems. I quickly reflected that it wasn’t his fault that he left me. I went back and told him that I was a different person.

I wanted him to meet my grandparents, but they were very angry and didn’t want to see him. I sat down with them and tried to explain to them how we were created, and the social issues that came and interrupted our lives and made us vulnerable in our thinking and made us not see others as human. That made my grandmother calm down, and she said he could come over. And he came here.

My mom was in a refugee camp in Uganda. I sent word to her and she came. When she came, I brought the relatives. That’s when I said that her husband was coming and that she still had a chance to build a family together. It took me three months mediating between them. Finally they got together and are staying together in Juba.

When my granddad was passing away, he said, “You are in charge of my family. Take care of everybody and the house. I trust you and know you can manage it.” It was RC that helped me in dealing with the different issues. At least once a month at home now we have family sessions, with about fifteen people, and I share insights I have from RC.

My second success was in using the same thing in prisons. In the Central Equatoria State (South Sudan), there are five prisons. I was visiting those prisons, listening about people’s lives—about the different problems, frustrations, and mistreatments—trying to help them not be more stressed. It took a lot of time. Now I have a program to share recorded messages electronically to support the prisoners. I am also helping in a diversion program in the community, helping people understand that the prisoners are not criminals, that their situation is not their fault, that they need to be accepted back in the community.

I do programs at an international school, and we go and talk to Senior 4 students, prepping2 them for what’s next. Most are dropping out because of various problems and poverty. We say, “What do you want to become? How do you want to see yourself? You need to have a hope.” We travel to students every semester before the schools close. Re-evaluation Counseling is so good in that you feel people are getting out of their issues. Some of their problems are a pretext—not the real issue. They say, “We didn’t know!” I visit; we talk about drug abuse, sex, love, how their choices affect their minds and their future.

Co-Counseling sessions are strengthening me. I feel so revived when I have a session. I feel new, and challenged, and with more ways of figuring out how to deal with my own problems. It gives me insight into how to deal with others. I don’t have a group yet. I really need a group.

It was a privilege to meet Victor Sillas from South Sudan at a workshop in Northern Uganda last month. He shared this story with me, and gave me permission to share it with others in the RC Community.

Pamela Haines

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

Reprinted from the e-mail discussion lists for RC Community members and for RC teachers

(Present Time 182, January 2016)

1 Wanjiku Kironyo is the Regional Reference Per-son for Northern Africa.
2 “Prepping” means preparing.

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00