November 6, 2016 (GULU) - South Sudanese living in the Northern Ugandan district of Gulu find it a struggle to cope with daily activities in Kanyagoga, a town suburb which currently houses hundreds of refugees, predominantly from the war-hit nation.
- South Sudanese refugees arrival at Kiryandongo settlement camp 16, 02,2014 (ST)
35-year old Rachael Ajak Dhieu says living in Gulu is not easy, while comparing her current situation to life in hell, yet she cannot return to her native country due to the ongoing conflict between rival forces.
A mother of six, Ajak and her family survive on what her husband earns from teaching in various primary schools located in Gulu town.
“I don’t have any job or [receive] funding. Nothing, but at least the kids go to school through my husband’s support,” she narrates.
Ajak left South Sudan when civil war broke out in December 2013, and is less optimistic of returning to the young nation anytime soon.
The 35-year old mother of six regularly attends counseling sessions provided by a local counselor at Kanyagoga, a village in Gulu town.
The counselor, Florence Atoo admits relation between South Sudanese and local communities have improved in the recent times.
“South Sudanese and the host community in my area have a fine relation. They have no issues with rent, they even chat with neighbours because they are used to them unlike in the previous days when they used to quarrel,” she told Sudan Tribune.
Atoo admitted that good relations between South Sudanese and their neighbours will enable them survive without any setbacks.
“I don’t have any problem with them because they are good and peaceful since we are all the same people with one historical background,” stressed the counselor, who has been helping South Sudanese in her area acquire land as well as houses for rent.
For Chandra Lucy, Gulu town was chosen as a home for safety purposes.
“There is nothing I see here in Gulu like disturbing, fighting, beatings, breaking of doors or even being called out at night,” she says.
Chan Reec, another resident of Kanyagoga, described as wonderful the relationship between South Sudanese the host communities.
But just like other South Sudanese families, Reec’s family members often interact with the locals, despite the language barriers.
Majority of South Sudanese came to Kanyagoga more than three years ago.