The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “south sudan

No Time For Easy Tears

Posted on January 9, 2018

My wife and I leave in a few days to lead a humanitarian team into South Sudan (casscanada.ca).  A trek we make every year at this time, this coming visit is occurring during a time of dramatic challenge in South Sudan specifically, and Africa in general. In various African nations, youth are increasingly coming onside for democracy.  Foreign Policy magazine cites examples from numerous nations where younger generations are making their desire for a better life a premise for change. “Their optimism has been buoyed in part by the rise of an aggressively independent media, the maturing of institutions such as the judiciary, and by the explosion of nongovernmental organizations fighting to hold governments accountable despite increasingly restrictive conditions … Never in Africa’s independent…

Heather Stewart – A Humanitarian Hero’s Last Flight

Posted on December 28, 2017

News of her death brought sorrow flowing through our home. Heather Stewart, a frontier pilot in a field dominated almost exclusively by male counterparts, lived one of those remarkable lives that only a place like Africa could produce. It was repeatedly like something from the movies. In a land so vast, barren and dangerous, she journeyed, lingered, and faced mortality head-on for the sake of the seemingly hopeless southern Sudanese situation and the non-governmental agencies seeking to help. Jane and I were on many of those journeys and returned from that remarkable land with tales of the valiant woman’s exploits. She was nicknamed “All Weather Heather” for her willingness to lift off when other pilots remained sensibly and safely on the ground. But in…

Enduring in Epic Times

Posted on April 10, 2017

It was the first bold political development of the new millennium, full of cautious hope and promise, and it’s now flirting with disaster. We were in South Sudan as international observers in 2011, as people voted by a huge margin for the right to establish their own independent state. Subsequently, the Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest nation. The mood within the country was euphoric, but the caution felt by the international community was well placed. It was one thing to form a united southern front against the northern government of Sudan in the decades-long great war, but would the southern tribes, many historically at odds with one another, be able to hold it together to enable the successful birth of the…

More Than Buildings

Posted on May 5, 2015

“A UNIVERSITY IS JUST A GROUP OF BUILDINGS gathered around a library,” wrote American historian Shelby Foote years ago. It’s just the kind of minimalist view that Socrates would have disagreed with forcefully. “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel,” the old philosopher wrote not too many years prior to his death. It’s likely that Shelby never took into account just what such an institution of higher learning would mean to billions around the world. To them it would be the highest of all attainments, a grand destination for all those seeking enlightenment. In the regions of South Sudan where we have volunteered for years, there is no greater ambition, no desire higher for a family, than to…

Promise Fulfilled

Posted on February 28, 2015

THE WORK OF FOUR REMARKABLE Canadian women in South Sudan has been so inspiring that I am including my new London Free Press article here on their efforts.  Just link to http://www.lfpress.com/2015/02/26/pearson-a-london-groups-promise-14-years-ago-to-build-a-high-school-in-the-south-sudan-region-of-aweil-was-fulfilled-this-year-the-school-will-open-in-apriland see some great pictures, along with a description of their efforts.  This is inspiring stuff in a new nation struggling to find its feet.  Proud to know these four great champions.

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