Development is peace in South Sudan

Development is peace in South Sudan

Welcome to one of the most peaceful places in all of South Sudan – the award-winning Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron.

'It is an oasis of peace where we have different tribes living together,' Bishop Taban Paride beams, sharing with MAF pilot Eivind Lindtjørn something of the vision he has for the village be founded over 15 years ago.

Eivind has made the two hour trip today in the small Cessna 182 SMA – 5X-MON – bringing one passenger and his precious cargo of new technology to Kuron. He is keenly aware that village where he has landed in is a very different South Sudan from Juba where he began his flight. He has left the hustle and bustle, the problems including crime and discord you can find in any small city and landed in a Peace village.

'I have been dreaming of a community where people with different ethnicity and different religious background can live side by side with confidence in harmony and fellowship,' the Bishop continues, picking up his story. 

He explains how a life of cattle raiding and tribal disputes mean many in the village used to call each other enemies. Now they call each other friends. With a focus on farming, education and peaceful co-existence, Bishop Taban reminds the villagers that 'development is peace'.

Solar delivery

Development is also technology, having the right tools for the job, whether that is agricultural equipment or electricity; and Stephen Karue, a solar system specialist from Kenya, has flown up to Kuron today to install a solar system for the Peace Village.

In his baggage he has brought the necessary equipment and tools for working on the village’s solar system, including a new inverter.

'It is difficult to get fuel to run a generator,' Bishop Taban explains, 'We want to be able to get power from a solar system instead' 

'The solar system we did have wasn’t working very well, so Stephen Karue has come here via MAF with the skills and equipment to rectify this.' 

The Village had received money to move forward with this initiative to provide a sustainable power source. 

It is clear that the Bishop is excited about the prospect of a better, more reliable power source for the community. 

Peace workshops

Eivind’s passenger on his return flight to Juba, is no stranger to the Peace Village. Originally from England, John Ashworth has spent the last 33 years as a missionary in South Sudan.

The Bishop shares, 'John is a friend to our village. He comes to facilitate workshops about peace, helps with seminars, and does training about trauma.' John works broadly as an adviser to the churches, providing counsel on peace and reconciliation. 

Travel around South Sudan is often a challenge.  John shares his experience. 'MAF’s 182 proved very useful for us today. I tried to get out with another carrier, we drove five hours to try to get on that flight but when we got there we couldn’t get on the flight. We had to turn around and come back to the Peace Village. We were so happy when we learned that MAF has a small plane that could come today and pick me up.'

UN peace prize

The Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron, South Sudan is a model community of peace. A place where Taposa, the Jie, the Murle and the Kachipo can bury the title of enemy, and embrace the name friend. Awarded a UN peace prize in 2013, Bishop Taban is clearly making a difference in the lives of the villagers and their once opposing ways. Bishop Taban is grateful to MAF and the way in which we provide safe and reliable flights in and out of Kuron. 'MAF has been always with us.'

'I have been dreaming of a community where people with different ethnicity and different religious background can live side by side with confidence in harmony and fellowship'

Bishop Taban Paride