South Sudanese refugee striving for peace after fleeing Sudan

12 June 2023

Mario, 52, has been staying at the transit centre in Renk, South Sudan, since the 5th of May, when he arrived by car with 20 other people, after escaping conflict in Sudan.

He waited for two weeks locked at home in Khartoum hoping for the violence to end: “There was army everywhere…the children were traumatised because of the sounds of the bullets,” he explains. When he saw that the situation wasn’t improving and food and other necessities were hard to find, he decided to leave: “we had no more water, no food, no security, and no services.”

Mario, originally from South Sudan, was living in Sudan as a refugee. In Khartoum, he was a preschool teacher, and he led an organization that provided arts classes and initiatives aimed at promoting peace and reconciliation among young people from different tribes and communities.
Arts are important for the promotion of peace, it is the fastest way for children to be brought together and learn. In Sudan, communities are divided based on tribalism. But when it comes to organising a theatre play, they all come together.
Mario Mabor

Life in Renk is not easy for Mario, “People are fighting over water,” he denounces. The difficult circumstances in which Mario is living have not weakened his desire to strive for a better future. “We need to spread the message of peace,” he says.

“We are living in war, and children need peace. In peace, you can go to school, you can go visit your family, you can go to the farm, to the market…but when there is no peace, none of this is there, there is nothing to do and nowhere to go. We need peace to live.”