Connect Africa Foundation Newsletter
June 2007

Our first graduate, Emmanuel Datiro, a Sudanese refugee

We want to introduce you to a very dear man that Connect Africa helped fund for his university education. We must publicly thank Marc Siebert, Alan Schwartz and their 20 friends for their generosity in supporting Emma's tuition and room/board for 3 years.

Emma's words 2004:
I am 26 years old. In 1990, I was 12 years old. In 1995, I was 17 years old. Dr Lynn, it is terrible to recall the 1990 war out break in Yambio town which forced us * Emma, Anna and Alice* to travel from Yambio in Sudan to Dungu in Congo *Zaire* which is roughly 100 miles.It was a Sunday 24 Nov.1990 that we started the travel leaving my mother 40 miles away from Yambio town. I was staying with my elder sister *Alice Ruben Datiro* who died in 1995. She was taking care of us because our mother was far away. At that time I lost motherly love but my sister Alice showed maximum love to us especial me who was the youngest *the last born*

In the refugee camp in Zaire, we were given carpets for housing and we had to build grass thatched houses. I was not old enough to build houses but conditions forced me. My two sisters backed me up and I managed to build though a sub standard grass house. Food was only beans and maize (un ground). So, we used to pound maize for flour in African mortor. How terrible life was!

It was in Seminary where Lynn Auerbach met us as students and gave us her contact number. I made an appointment with her to discuss some matters with her about my country. When we met, it was such a nice moment I have ever had. It was a surprise to her to hear she was conversing with a Sudanese refugee. Her response to me was very good and she really paid much attention and concern to my ideas and later became my best friend. I showed my admission forms of the University showing the course I wanted to do and why I wanted to do it.

Emma's words May 1, 2007:
To all my sponsors

This is a very exciting moment for me to extend my sincere thanks to all those who had taken the burden upon themselves the burden, to support me in my three year course which I have successfully completed this year. Your generous giving wasn't in vain but has yielded positive results as I now prepare to go home well equipped with relevant skills to serve my community in love, commitment, transparency and above all humility. I fled my country very young, poorly educated, with no skills, but now I'm returning home mature, educated and with professional skills.

All my thanks go to you, your friends, families, your government and the Almighty God who created all things visible and invisible for the benefits of mankind.
Yours truly,
Datiro Emmanuel Ruben

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