The latest census data shows us that there are almost a quarter of a million African-born individuals living in Australia. Of those, there are almost 20,000 Sudanese born individuals and another 18,000 or so children born to the Sudanese people who have made Australia home. With this growth, Sudanese education is imperative to the Sudanese in Australia. Tradition is important and every parent wants to instill their own into their children. It’s important to embrace the world in which we live, but it’s just as important to remember where we came from.
SOUTH SUDANESE ROOTS
South Sudanese culture is rooted in discipline, self-reliance, respect, independence, and resilience. The conflict experienced has had an influence in shaping the culture. The South Sudanese people are known for their ability to adapt, remain flexible, and rely upon their resilience. With many people having spent years in exile, there is a disconnection between traditions and culture. Therefore, it is vitally important that we inform and educate each other and the wider community with regards to South Sudan and South Sudanese culture. South Sudan is an extraordinarily diverse country, with over 60 ethnic groups represented. However, the majority of the population fall under one of six groups. Within each of those groups, there are more groups. Point being, there are many stories to tell, and many experiences to communicate with others. The culture is dependent on which group a person comes from. The individuals who reside in South Sudan tend to live according to the cultures and values of their particular group. Yet, the South Sudanese people who have lived as refugees have lived different lifestyles under wildly different circumstances.
SOUTH SUDANESE IN AUSTRALIA
In Australia, the majority of the South Sudanese population arrived between the years 2001 and 2006. Many of whom had lived in other countries as refugees, coming to Australia from Kenya, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Uganda. As a population, the South Sudanese population tend to face unique challenges when they resettle. Sadly, many people have no employment history and others are illiterate. In fleeing drought, famine, and conflict, survival has been the most important point. It can also be difficult for families to settle into the Australian norms. This is why it’s so important for the South Sudanese population to support each other. Many South Sudanese individuals are driven to study law, medicine, and political science as these are fields lacking in the homeland. The thought of the suffering in the homeland drives many to make a difference in their current community. We are all unique, each of us, but together we form a unique community of individuals. We all have our own stories to tell, and as a united community, we can share those stories with each other and the wider Australian communities that we inhabit. That is what we at Africa World Books Community Education are fighting for.
EDUCATE | STRENGTHEN | SUPPORT
We educate, support, and strengthen our communities. We want South Sudanese and African youths to learn about the traditions, culture, and history of the homeland. We want our youth to be empowered, educated, and encouraged to develop their skills. It’s all about raising up happy, secure, contributing members of society.