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Br Bill Firman Reflects on latest developments in troubled South Sudan

Posted on 23 November 2018
Br Bill Firman Reflects on latest developments in troubled South Sudan

Above: Br Bill Firman [former principal St Bede's Mentone, DLS Malvern and other CaSPA schools] with students in South Sudan

As you may be aware, the CaSPA Board has elected to support the Catholic Teachers' College in Yambio, South Sudan as part of its global social justice focus. At its recent Board Meeting, the Directors elected to allocate over $11,000 to support the tuition costs for female teacher trainess at this College. The rationale for this is makes a compellng case for the Board decision on which global project to support:

  • South Sudan is one of the top 5 oppressed countries ravaged by civil war, drought and corruption
  • In this culture women are further oppressed as a result of history and culture
  • Education - and raising the dignity and place of women - are regarded as one of the few ways that society's such as this can build a future and hope for the children and future generations
  • Staff at this College are largely ex pat Australians - a number have worked in CaSPA schools earlier in their careers 

Br Bill Firman provides a regular update on the work to help the Sudanese people.  This is an extract from his latest email:

Last week there were peace celebrations in South Sudan. It does seem more stable. The soaring devaluation of the currency has ceased for the past few months. The general mood, however, is one of continuing doubt.  The agreement is more about power sharing, than rehabilitation and what will restore a reasonable standard of living.   My real hope is the next generation who will be better educated and who may use resources more wisely for the good of all.
Sr Alice has been talking to people at our gate. They tell her they are 'hungry'. One girl says she has had no food for two days but it is hard to know who is telling the truth. There is no dole here, no social welfare system. So there are no so-called 'dole bludgers'.  But there are still plenty of people prepared to invent fake needs in order to solicit aid. They make it harder for others.

There are also people who follow traditional tribal practices that seem positively dangerous to me, such as cutting oneself with razor blades, while others are 'sucked in' by supposed modern technology such as waving a wand around a person that diagnoses what illnesses are developing and want medicines always very expensive one needs. It is very hard to

On the other hand, the gratitude of many people, if they are helped, is most obvious. Many are grateful if they can eat once a day. Hopefully, continuing stability will make it easier for people to survive. I am so blessed to come from a land of plenty.

- Br Bill

Tags: Identity Catholic Secondary Principals Australia
Brenda McEvoy 39 days ago
Hi Bill, I was reminiscing with Max Ratcliffe, my neighbour, about dancing the 's?Pride of Erin with you at St Josephs in the 1950's. Do you remember m?me....Brenda McEvoy from Kilmaire school? I was also good friend of Tony Egan. Would love to hear more about your life and career development Bill ..can you write a little and I can respond.

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