South Sudan is the world’s newest country, but it is also one of the poorest. The average person only earns about ten dollars each month, with many struggling just to stay alive. Civil war and conflict have also been occurring in South Sudan (formerly Sudan) for the majority of the past 40 years, and so there many orphans. Many adults have fled to other countries, but orphans are often left behind. As a result, most die from hunger or disease. There are a small number of orphanages trying to help, but finding food and shelter in a country during a war environment is very hard. However, there is one orphanage that is making a huge difference; Divine Mercy Action (DMA).
DMA is an orphanage formed by Father Paolino Tipo Deng in 2017 is in Kabo, near Gurei on on the outskirts of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, and is jointly run by Father Paolino and Ms. Yasmin Khamis, esq., an accomplished attorney and advocate for women's rights. Although Father Paolino is a Roman Catholic priest, all religions are welcomed, accepted, and practiced. Divine Mercy currently takes care of food, shelter, healthcare, and school costs for about 85 boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 19, however there are a few very young boys and girls, too. Most sleep in tents, but there are a few hard structures with more being built as funds become available. The compound now has a well and provides clean, fresh water. There are also some solar panels to provide light at night. There is always an adult present, so the children are never by themselves.
These children need permanent housing, shoes, clothing, school supplies, and access to healthcare. They need our love, but they also need food, shelter, and to attend school. These are the basic building blocks of life, and thanks to Divine Mercy Action, some kids have a chance to "live."
My name is Bridget Thaller. I am 15 years old and this year (2022) I formed HelpKids2Live. I am an honors student at Patriot High School, run cross country, and live in northern Virginia near Washington, D.C. I plan to attend college after high school and am excited about my future.
Four years ago, my father introduced me to the Honorable Minister Losuba (see picture), the current Minister of Federal Affairs in South Sudan. They both told me stories about the challenges and war in South Sudan. I also learned that many children in South Sudan have a very difficult life and have almost no future at all. Instead, many die when they are just kids.
My dad and Minister Losuba inspired me to work hard and never give up even when things are difficult. We are just getting started at HelpKids2Live, and I want to eventually help all children to "live", world-wide.
Fun Fact: I used to have an African Savannah Cat (mixture of a housecat and African Serval), named Clyde. He had a very interesting personality. Even though he had African Serval in his blood, he didn't act like it. For example, whenever he caught a mouse he wouldn't kill it. Instead, he would play with it. Clyde was an amazing cat and I miss him a lot.