75 orphans in Tambura benefit from generous handover by South Sudanese staff working with UNMISS
WESTERN EQUATORIA – Sister Bianka Bii Musungu, the founder of Bhakita Orphanage in Tambura, Western Equatoria, is a happy woman.
The reason: A generous hand over by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), using their own funds.
“I am overjoyed to see the care and concern demonstrated by staff from UNMISS. With the recent conflict in Tambura, many children have been orphaned and we have struggled to meet their needs. But this hand over will help us immensely,” she stated.
Sister Musungu, a 75-year-old who has dedicated her life to providing shelter and care for orphaned children, was speaking to the visiting National Staff Association from the UN Peacekeeping mission.
Items handed over include food, soap and clothes for children up to 15 years of age.
With 61 years of service to the communities of greater Tambura region, Sister Musungu is currently taking care of 75 orphans, aged between 5 months to 18 years.
What inspired her to take on this selfless role?
“When I was growing up, I would be moved by seeing many children suffering,” she reveals. “They had no recourse to education, their parents had either died or were missing or, even worse, they were abandoned by their families. I couldn’t stand watching their pain and I decided very early on that I would try my best to be a mother to such children and provide them the nurture and shelter that every child deserves.”
Sister Musungu’s life path has, in turn, transformed the lives of numerous youngsters.
Joyce Sebit, who grew up in Bahkita Orphanage, is one of them.
“I don’t know if my biological parents are alive or dead,” said Joyce. “For me, Sister Musungu is both my mother and my father. She took me in, gave me a safe place to live and now I am in senior school. My ambition is to become a doctor; I can then pay my dues to Bhakita Orphanage and help communities, especially children, have access to proper healthcare.”
Sister Musungu says she believes ongoing conflict must end and the futures of the younger generation must be protected if South Sudan is to usher in a peaceful, prosperous future.
“Young people deserve to enjoy the richness of our young nation. We must stop violence and commit to our shared identity as South Sudanese. My dearest wish is that we can stop all the bloodshed and achieve our full potential as a country.”
For her part, Martha Afindi, Chair of the UNMISS National Staff Association in the mission’s Yambio Field Office, giving back to the community is vital, especially given the current situation in the greater Tambura region in which many have been killed and tens of thousands displaced.
“Children have been perhaps the most affected by the upsurge of violence in Tambura. Their education has been disrupted, they have been separated from their families. We, therefore, felt that we must do our bit for children at Bakhita Orphanage and provide them every support we can. Sister Musungu’s work is a shining example of how one person’s commitment can change the lives of many,” averred Ms. Afindi.
“We are humbled to have been able to help her cause.”