“In some communities in South Sudan, especially Dinka customary law, it’s okay to take a girl of marriageable age by force as a wife, but one has to inform her relatives. The man does not threaten to attack potential in-laws either.”
“I am talking on behalf of my family that my wife, Madam Ayen Meen was caught on her way home on the 15th of September by the national security service and she was unlawful arrested in an unknown location in Wau, she has been away for 14-days in prison with four men and there is no response from the State government on the matter while I am searching for her from unknown location for a period of 2 weeks in Wau”, said Apac. Apac said said that his wife has committed no crime to be arrested.
At the age of 13, Eliza was forced by her father to marry a 35-year-old man from their village in the South Sudan town of Rumbek. She was traded for 50 cattle. When another teenage girl was asked how she felt being a child bride, “she laughs nervously, clenches her fists, stares at the ground and says: ‘We’re born to be married.'”
In this photo taken Monday, July 31, 2017, a young South Sudanese woman scrubs the dung-covered ground in preparation for cows to return from grazing, at a cattle camp outside the town of Rumbek, South Sudan. Cows are used for payments and dowries, which Human Rights Watch calls a “key driver of child marriage” as families see daughters as a source of wealth. (AP Photo/Mariah Quesada)
Each of these stories more than document the mass hatred, violence, and abuse woman in South Sudan suffer; each women is also a living, breathing human being who’s experiences are like shards of glass in our eyes causing such painful double-vision that we’re compelled to pick out every sliver until we have stopped the dual standards of what is acceptable for a Developing-Nation Woman versus a Developed-Nation Woman. Knowing we’re all made in the image of One Creator, we’re called to remember, “If you love Me, feed my sheep.”
Today, you can help ONE REAL 15-YEAR-OLD victim of kidnapping and human trafficking.
While her name is being withheld to protect her identity, this child was studying ardently in a school in Rumbek, South Sudan when a South Sudanese Soldier stormed the school and kidnapped her from class on August 30. Her distraught parents tirelessly searched for her for more than a month before finding her. Stephen Garang, the father of the girl, describes the kidnapper as a soldier under SPLA Division 6. He says the soldier held the girl against her will for one month as his wife.
Garang did what any good father would do, he sought help from the police. The police did help the Garang to rescue his little girl—with NO CONSEQUENCES against her captor; the police then told Garang that he could have his daughter back when he paid them 5,000 SSP. Garang has no money whatsoever; the police put his little girl in prison until Garang pays them the 5,000 SSP they demand.
“I’ve no money at my hand. I leave my daughter to the police and they will decide what to do with her because I have no money,” he added.
While 5,000 SSP is less than $50, it is an impossible amount for a family who may have never held cash in their hands before. Sadly, Garang’s story is not uncommon, however, MWP has the infrastructure in place to not only rescue these child brides but also to place them in safe schools with 24-hour security and a loving home to help heal their trauma.
Please donate to our General Fund today to help keep us ready to spring into action, for one precious child at a time, even as we work to change the tide of this broken nation through our powerful indigenous network. We will begin the process for this child’s redemption immediately.