Dut was born to Christian parents in Bor, a city that now lies in South Sudan. He remembers his grandfather practised black magic but that 'when he became a Christian, he changed so completely and for the rest of his life he preached the gospel and baptised many people. He died when he was 105 years old.'
Against a backdrop of civil war, Dut's father died leaving his mother to raise six children. In 1989, the young family escaped fighting in their city, beginning a tumultuous period of several years that saw them move as refugees to Ethiopia, Kapoeta in southern Sudan Sudan and later the border with Uganda. He lost one brother to illness and for a while lost contact with another. Later they reunited and he and his brother moved to Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.
By 2006, Dut had finished secondary studies in Kakuma and decided to return to what was still Sudan the following year.
Arriving in the capital, he got an office job and subsequently heard about a pilot training programme in South Africa. He was one of the eleven chosen for training and gained a range of flight qualifications including his private pilots’ licence. While at Lanseria Airport near Johannesburg, Dut met two MAF pilots who were also there for training. He recalls that ‘this was the first time I had heard of MAF but I believe the meeting was part of God’s plan.’
My MAF journey
In 2011, he took a job with MAF in Juba as a bookings clerk, then worked in the dispatch team and as a Ground Operations Coordinator. It was becoming clear to his colleagues that Dut was extremely bright and capable and could be well suited to flying with MAF one day as a pilot.
Knowing his ability and potential, Dut was recently accepted onto MAF’s internship for trainee bush pilots, passing the initial flight assessments with flying colours.
As a South Sudanese national, Dut has a great advantage to witness to his own people and to pave the way for further collaborations between MAF and even more isolated communities.
‘I love the purpose and mission of MAF,' says Dut. 'I am enthusiastic about working for a Christian organisation geared towards serving the lives of desperate people in hard to reach destinations. I have seen the way MAF pilots have devoted their lives to the hardships of living in different countries. I see the way they interact with people of different races and backgrounds and I want to be an MAF pilot. I want to live God’s way of life.’
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