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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Be it ever so humble

Lutheran help follows refugee families back home to Sudan

After living 15 years in a refugee camp in Kenya, it would be easy to think of it as home. But Martha Akuol Akol always knew she’d go back to her real home in southern Sudan. In January 2007 her family resettled in the east African country.

They hadn’t been home since 1991, when they fled the violence of Africa’s longest civil war. It dragged on for 21 years, killing 2 million people and forcing 4 million from their homes before the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005.

Before moving home to Sudan, Joseph
Before moving home to Sudan, Joseph Akol, 5, the youngest of six, attended preschool and ate nourishing porridge. Both were thanks to the Lutheran World Federation, which provides aid at a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya.
Akol’s family first escaped to a place on the Sudanese-Kenyan border. The following year they made their way to Kakuma Refugee Camp in northwestern Kenya. At its highest point, the unofficial count of refugees living in the camp was more than 100,000. Most, like Akol’s family, fled the war in Sudan.

Although they were forced to become refugees, life went on. Akol and her husband, Abraham, left Sudan with two young children. As years passed, they had four more.

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