MEET OUR SOUTH SUDAN PROJECT MANAGER: Mary’s Project New Emerging Leader
Atem Garang Juowei
INTERNATIONAL COORDINATOR – SOUTH SUDAN
Building Construction Manager
Atem Garang Juowei and Schoolmaster distribute backpacks from Holy Spirit School, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, to the school children in the village
In June 2011, Atem "Ajith" Garang Juowei was appointed the South Sudan International Coordinator and Building Construction Manager for Mary's Project Library Educational Center Building Project in the Ajoung Community, South Sudan.
Atem, a "Lost Boy of South Sudan" now living in the United States, fled from his homeland and village in 1987. In 1983 civil war broke out in Sudan pinning the Arab North against the Christian South. As the Christian villages of the South were attacked by the North, homes were completely burned, most of the adults were killed, young women and girls were kidnapped, raped and murdered, while nearly 36,000 children esacped to the bush. Over 2 million lives were lost in this conflict. The young boys, known as the "Lost Boys," who were able to escape walked a long dangerous journey traveling over 1,000 miles on foot with no parents, food or water, while battling crocodiles, lions, starvation, and the gunfire and bombing raids of an enemy that wanted to see them "no more." Eventually, after losing two thirds of the group, about 16,000 Lost Boys somehow survived and made it to relief camps in Ethiopia and later in Kenya. In 2001, approximately 3,800 Lost Boys were selected from Kakuma Refugee Camp for resettlement in the United States. Four years later the 20 year war ended and the CPA (Comprehensive Peace Agreement) was signed in 2005. On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became the new, free, and independent "Republic of South Sudan."
Some who have been able to return home to reunite with family and friends have found their villages severely lacking in infrastructure, services and health care due to decades of civil war and persecution.
Atem with Lisa Marie Johnson and Mary's Project Mission HOPE South Sudan team, returned to South Sudan during Christmas 2011-2012 for the historic reunion of the Lost Boys and the kick-off of Mary's Project "Ajoung Library Educational Center" in the South Sudan village of Atem's birth. See the CBS Feature Story:
CBS News - Mission Hope South Sudan Update
CBS Keloland TV Feature Story by Angela Kennecke:
Eye on Keloland - Mission HOPE South Sudan
Promo Video Trailer - 2011-2012 Christmas Mission Trip:
Mission Hope South Sudan
Atem Juowei comes to Mary's Project with incredible experience taken from his current employment at Gage Brothers Construction, Sioux Falls, SD, where he has been working in production since 2008. His high work ethic and hands on experience has made Atem a valued and integral management leader of Mary's Project Building Construction Team for Mission HOPE South Sudan Library Educational Center Building Project.
From 2001-2006, Atem received his first employment after resettlement at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel gaining invaluable experience in customer service and hospitality. In 2007, Atem was certified as a Medical Assistant from Lincoln Tech Institute, Boston Massachusetts.