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Stories from the Field

After Fleeing South Sudan, 14-Year-Old Samir Pursues a Medical Career

Maddie L Author
By Maddie Laing on April 30, 2019

Samir*, age 14, leads a life out of the ordinary for most boys his age. Samir was born in South Sudan and after losing his family members, was forced to flee to Uganda during the height of the South Sudanese war.

Samir lost his immediate family in South Sudan. Although he does not have a family, he has found true brotherhood in his three best friends. Samir met his three friends when he fled to a refugee camp in Uganda. Following a recommendation from the refugee camp, the four boys were able to be placed together at the Don Bosco Children and Life Mission (CALM), sponsored by Rise Against Hunger’s partner, Salesian Missions.

Before entering the CALM program, Angelo and his friends spent nearly a year out of any type of formal education program. Currently, the four boys live full time at CALM where they are provided a place to live, schooling and three Rise Against Hunger Meals a day — every day of the week.

Rev. Fr. Elie, the director at CALM, is in charge of ensuring the Rise Against Hunger meals are stored in a safe place once they arrive in Uganda. He shares that the school faces daily challenges in feeding the children, securing educational materials and paying the monthly salaries for staff members. Since the implementation of Rise Against Hunger Meals, Rev. Fr. Elie shares that they can all “breathe” knowing that the children will receive nutritious meals.

Samir shares that his life has changed for the better since entering the CALM program. At the refugee camp, he only had access to posho, also known as corn flour. Samir shares that he loves the addition of Rise Against Hunger meals to his diet because they make him feel full and satisfied. He also explains that his three friends enjoy the meals.

Samir’s life may seem outside of the ordinary, but he still has big dreams for himself. He has the goal of one day using the knowledge he is learning in school to become a doctor. Samir dreams of being a doctor because he wants to help people like the people of CALM have helped him.

*Name has been changed.