Miss Malaika 2012 Shares Valentine’s Day With The Homeless

Miss Malaika Josephine Awien sharing her valentine gifts with the homeless in Juba. [Francis Apiliga Lagu]

Awien in company of her predecessor Hellen Kadong offered the elders maize flour, sugar, tea leaves, washing and bathing soap and packets of milk for the children.

“Today, I decided to come and spend my valentine’s day with these people. It’s something from my heart. These people need our love. We need to show them that they are part of the society,” said Miss Awien.

“I chose these people because there are so many government and non-governmental organization officials who move around this place, see these people but don’t do anything about them,” she said.

According to Awien, there are 50 women, 60 children and undisclosed number of extremely old helpless men in the area.

The reigning Miss Malaika urged the government and other development partners to come to the rescue as they suffer a lot especially during the wet season.

Awien’s predecessor Kadong expressed delight in seeing her successor doing charity work.

“I feel good for Ms Awien. God says help those who are needy to be blessed. So, I will continue to support her [Awien] activities. I call upon the government to come up and resettle these people,” said Kadong.

This group of people claim to have come from Terekeka in search for jobs but failed to get any. They urge the government to find a place to resettle on.

Mary Kiden, a mother of four children says she has been in the area for six years, adding that she produced all her children in this place which has become her home for years now.

Mary Kaku, another member of the group urges the government and humanitarian organizations to help them with food, shelter, health and educational services for their children.

Apart from handouts, the energetic members of the group and their children collect crystals (plastic water and soda bottles and sell them to have at least one meal a day.

“Our children don’t go to school because we do not have money,” Kiden in her mid 30s said in Juba Arabic.

Kiden said they live in the open and veranda of an old rickety ramshackle house near the Aids Resistance Trust signpost on the way to the South Sudan Chamber of Commerce.

Ms Awien expected assistance from Vivacell Telecom, South Sudan Breweries Limited (SSBL) and Speed Insurance Company but because of bureaucracies involved, the support did not materialise.

These people are safe only during the dry season as they often get disturbed, displaced and sleep on veranda of shops whenever it rains.

This is the first time a Miss Malaika has responded to the needs of the elderly in the independent Republic of South Sudan.

Miss Awien pledged to continue drumming support for the needy. 

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