We cross digital paths once again with the women of South Sudan and models supporting them. Photographer, model and activist Nykhor Paul has launched a fantastic t-shirt collection as part of her 'We Are Nilotic' campaign.
We last met up with Nykhor Paul and her South Sudanese sisters Mari Agory, Mari Malek, Grace Bol, Rina Kara, Elizabeth Arjok, and Nyamouch Girwath in a series of images by Cliff Watts that explored their South Sudanese roots. beauty and traditions. Malek was also promoting her organization Stand 4 Education, devoted to promoting literacy in South Sudan, and particularly among girls. Less than 2% of girls attend high school, making South Sudan among the most illiterate place in the world for girls.
Now Nykhor Paul shares news about her 'We Are Nilotic' campaign focused on the trauma of those living through the civil war that broke out in South Sudan and led to the division of Sudan into two countries in 2011. The violence continues today.
Nykhor Paul is looking to change for the better her native land of South Sudan, one t-shirt at a time. She’s launched the “We Are Nilotic” campaign in December 2013, Nilotic meaning “of the Nile”, to unify and encourage peace in her country of South Sudan and for those in the conflict to put down their weapons. “When the war broke out — my brother was killed, my friends were beheaded, my entire world went dark. I have 20k followers and these people like me for taking pictures as a model. I decided to use my platform to project out this love I know for Africa and the love we have as Black people as one.” Uprooted from her native country as a pre-pubescent, Paul emigrated to Houston, Texas in 1998 as a refugee but left the family she so desperately loved behind.
Paul explains to Models.com that there are 64 tribes in South Sudan and she has the goal of finding a vocal woman like herself in each of those tribes, women who can tell the truth not only about the beauty of women in South Sudan but also to become women of action. Paul hopes to take Western friends to South Sudan, so that the mirror of social and cultural reflection reflects not only in a vision defined by Westerners.
The international press wrote yesterday that clashes in Juba, South Sudan have escalated in the last two weeks, at a time when South Sudan's civil war is supposedly over. According to the Times, in April, after more than two years of conflict that killed tens of thousands of people, the opposition leader, Riek Machar returned to Juba with nearly 1,400 troops to resume his post as the vice president to his wartime rival, President Salva Kiir. Major outbreaks of violence escalated again in the last two weeks, leaving the UN to estimate that some 26,000 South Sudanese -- mostly women and children -- have crossed into Uganda since the new fighting broke out.
Yesterday alone, an estimated 8,337 refugees crossed into Uganda, setting a single-day record since the influx began in 2016.
“Thousands of people continue to flee uncertainty and fighting in South Sudan,” a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Andreas Needham, told reporters in Geneva, adding that more than 90 per cent of those are women and children.
The influx is severely stretching the capacity of collection points, transit centres and reception centres, he said. On Wednesday night, more than 7,000 people slept at Elegu collection point, significantly beyond its 1,000-person capacity. Similarly, Kuluba collection point is hosting 1,099 refugees, compared to its 300-person capacity. Torrential rains are further hampering registration efforts, he added.
In the regrettably common story across Africa, the war lords, generals, and so-called leaders are wrecking more devastation in South Sudan. In the times of Trump in America, AOC is once again reflecting deeply on the impact of excessive testosterone across our fragile world.
Anne of Carversville has a long relationship with Sudan before the independence of South Sudan, being a strong advocate to stop the flogging of between 40-50,000 women a year for indecent dress -- often being nothing more offensive than wearing loose-fitting gabardine trousers. Nykhor Paul would be arrested on the spot in Sudan's city of Khartoum, as she appears in these great t-shirt images. Let me not confuse the issue, though, because Paul is focused on the women in her nation of South Sudan.
AOC is also devoted to improving the education of girls in Africa, tagging 5% of our GLAMTRIBALE revenues to The Kibera School for Girls in Nairobi. We also earmark another 5% of revenues to elephant conservation. It's true that the legal poaching of wild game by hunters like Donald Trump Jr. and his brother Eric contribute to declining species on the continent. But the illegal killing of elephants, giraffe's and other big game are also closely tied to funding the warlords, and particularly in the Congo. Read on in my GLAMTRIBALE blog.
We simply must empower women and girls worldwide, in an effort to bring stability to our world. I am recommitting to following the news of women and children in Sudan and South Sudan, having been such a strong advocate for them in the past.
You can support the girls of Kibera in Kenya, my psychic home through a constellation of intersections that include Lake Turkana as the home of human civilization, The Sumra and Mursi tribes of Southern Ethiopia, the young activist Dan Eldon who was stoned to death in Mogadishu over two decades ago and a host of other happenings in my life that are too coincidental to process through my rational brain. ~ Anne
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