Kelowna is my home of 2 month’s. I arrived here via Fort St. John, Winnipeg, Cuba, Ethiopia, and Sudan. I googled gospel mission, and came here.
I am the middle son in a family of five boys and two girls. From a young age I was identified as the guardian and future leader of my family. My Uncle was very kind. He taught me how to be a man.
It became my responsibility to run the family farm, grow vegetables, care for our livestock, go hunting and fishing, and provide for everyone. I was young to do all that.
I struggled to see my family destroyed by the South Sudan army. My dad had his own army; he was a commander that protected our land and people. Our tribe is called Anyuak, and we live in the border lands of Ethiopia and Sudan. My dad’s vision was to unite our people on both sides of the border, but some refused.
In the war between North and South Sudan many people were fleeing to Ethiopia. The South Sudan army came through my tribe lands and was in conflict with my Dad’s army. I still don’t really know why, but many terrible things happened. When I was 10, my Uncle got beaten by South Sudani soldiers, right in front of me. Soon after that my older brothers and I were sent to Cuba to go to school, along with many others.
In the end they came for my father at home, mistreated him, and killed him in cold blood. There was so much suffering for my mother, and much more to come. All of these things happened before I turned 11. There is much more to tell you.
It all floods back now, and the message I hear is this; I took so long. I should have been back home by now. I should have been the one responsible for them.
Story as told by Obang to Lesley-Anne Evans. Photograph by Lesley-Anne.