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The Leadership Academy of South Sudan Class of 2018 “Light Of The Nation”

Enjoy reading the stories of 19 students from our class of 54 amazing future leaders



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Agents of Change from the Class of 2017

Impressive stories of transformation from LASS Alumni


Justin Mule Jackson, 20 years old, South Sudanese (Kajo – Keji County)

Justin Mule jackson“I had to flee Kajo-keji early this year when the war started. I now live with my mother and four brothers at Morobi refugee settlement in Moyo district.” Justin explains as he recalls how he had to abandon his home village and seek refuge in Moyo following the January conflict that has now left Kajo-keji completely deserted, and resulted into the influx of at least 100,000 refugees into Moyo district.”

“The biggest problems in South Sudan are godlessness, neglect of young people and children, and the lack of wisdom in choosing leaders. I voted in 2010 but I can assure you that people were not wise enough. We all voted out of fear, and now we have this mess. On top of this, young people and children who are the future of the nation are not being nurtured and valued. It pains my heart to see children walking on the street with no one to take care of them. Above all, we South Sudanese have forgotten God. The godlessness in this country is the reason we have the war and all this suffering. We must return to God and everything will be okay.”

“As a young leader, I am determined to change this. I am currently involved with the youth ministry in my church, and hope to encourage as many young people as possible to turn back to God. I also want to be involved in ministries that nurture children and help them develop into God-fearing people, and future leaders. Through sensitization exercises, I will try my best to urge those around me to vote wisely the next time we have an opportunity.”

“LASS has really shaped me in the past two years. Through our discipleship classes, I am now fully equipped to preach the word of God with confidence. Something is growing in me, and it will lead me to bring a difference in my community. Since I started school at LASS, even my friends have noticed a change in me, and now come to me for advice. I know that am going forward.” After LASS, I want to do pharmaceutical studies, but this will not stop me from pursuing my passion of working with youth and children. I still want to be a part of a good youth ministry and I know that it will open doors for me to even take up more influential positions in my community.”

“I really thank God for opening the doors for me to join LASS. LASS has changed my life, and I will use what I have acquired to change the lives of others.”


Poni Jane Jacob, 23 years old, South Sudanese (Kajo-keji County)

Poni Jane Jacob“I am a proud South Sudanese but we are still struggling as a nation. We are always fighting and failing. The way I see it, we have two big problems in South Sudan; our spiritual aspect is struggling, and there is too much corruption among our leaders” Says Poni.

“People must be sensitized against corruption. They need to know that corruption is crippling our nation. Top government leaders have too much money, and the rest of us have nothing. This must stop!”

“One of the valuable lessons I have learned through our leadership classes here at LASS is that we must have financial integrity. This class has taught us how to handle money well, and deal with corruption. I hope to teach the people of my community the same thing so that they can say no to corruption.”

“But, the most important thing is that people need to know is God. This fighting is not ending because people do not fear God. And because they don’t fear God, they are not afraid to kill, rape women, and destroy property. The suffering of South Sudanese in the refugee camps means nothing to our leaders because they don’t know God.”

“As I leave LASS at the end of the year, I will be a servant leader, and help people to know God and fight corruption. I am very interested in studying Banking and Finance just to deal with this issue of corruption.

“When I complete my studies, I want to become a Finance Manager who will serve with integrity and transparency. I will be a good example to those around me.”

Poni Jane now lives with her mother and sister in law in Palorinya refugee settlement in Moyo district after fleeing Kajo-keji in January this year.


Dudu Mary, 19 years old , South Sudanese (Kajo-keji County)

Dudu Mary“As a South Sudanese, I know that our biggest problems in South Sudan are tribalism, corruption, and early marriages. When you try and explain these things to people, they refuse to accept. But the truth is that South Sudan is drowning in corruption and tribalism.”

“Our government is so corrupt, and sadly, the people we sent to represent us in the government have become worse. Our leaders are selfish. They are prospering at the expense of millions of South Sudanese who are suffering within and outside South Sudan.”

“Another problem is tribalism. I don’t know why we don’t love each other as people from one Country. Tribes in South Sudan hate each other and are always fighting. This is why we are always behind.”

“Young girls are also getting married very early and are therefore not able to continue with their studies. As a result, we don’t have many women in the government, or in leadership positions.”

“I must work hard to change the problems I have mentioned. South Sudan has the potential of being the best country in the world. First, I will deal with the issue of corruption. I will never forget the class we had on financial integrity last term. It taught me a lot about the right way to handle money and fight corruption. People need to be taught to say no to corruption and am willing to do everything within my power to sensitize them.” I will study Banking and Finance so that I can be a good example of stewardship and transparency.”

“I will also fight tribalism by teaching those around me that we are all brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ. Many people do not have the love of God in their hearts, and that’s why they don’t love their neighbour. As a Christian, it is my responsibility to teach them to love one another”

“If we can solve tribalism, corruption, and the issue of early marriages, South Sudan will be a better place. Through the opportunity I have had to develop my leadership skills at LASS, I am committed and ready to do my part in making South Sudan a great Country.”


Sijali Pamela, 20 years old, South Sudanese (Morobo County)

Sijali Pamela“I am originally from Morobo County, but I now live in Koboko district in Uganda. The war forced me and my two brothers to flee and join my aunties in Koboko.”

“ I really don’t know why we always have problems in South Sudan. Something is always wrong in our country. But in my opinion, two things need to change; high poverty levels, and the poor education system.”

“I think that the poverty in South Sudan is caused by our dependence on other countries for food and aid. We need to learn to work hard and produce our own food. We need to start exporting some things so that we can have money. Many people are wasting the little money they have on buying food and other things that come from Uganda. People need to be informed to embrace agriculture and trade, so that we can rise above poverty.”

“South Sudan also has a very poor education system. Because we cannot depend on the education system, some parts of South Sudan study the Kenyan syllabus, and others the Ugandan Syllabus. As a country, we need to have a strong academic system so that people don’t send their children outside of South Sudan for school. Many people who went to school outside of South Sudan have chosen not to return. We are losing professionals because as a country, we were not able to nurture them in education. This needs to change.”

“Since I joined LASS, my confidence has greatly increased and I am determined to bring meaningful change in my community along the areas I have mentioned. I have always had a passion for agriculture so I hope to study it, or land surveying. Hopefully, in the near future, I will be an important person in my community, who will positively influence systems for good change.”

“I owe everything that I have acquired in the past two years to LASS. I do not take this opportunity for granted, and will use my knowledge and skills well.”


Akilimali Burongu, 22 years old, Congolese (Bugoma)

Akilimali Burongu“I am from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to join LASS last year. I know that God planned for me to attend this school to prepare me for greater things ahead.”

“Back home, our entire leadership structure needs to be changed. It is such an unfair leadership structure. I know that it might be too late to change the current leaders, but there is hope through young upcoming leaders, like me.”
“When I go back home, I will encourage my fellow youth not to follow in the footsteps of our current leaders. We must bring change to the DRC. All leadership comes from God, and we must trust him to guide us as we lead his people.”

“Before Coming to LASS, I didn’t know much about leadership, although I had served in several leadership positions in my former school. But I have now developed so much confidence in myself, and my ability to lead. I have also learned to be proactive. These skills are important for effective leadership.”

“With what I have learned at LASS, I am determined to be an influential leader in my community. I want to study International Relations so that I can positively influence and shape the development and growth of my country while learning from successful countries around the world.”

“DRC can be a great country again, and I will play my part in making it great.”

Chikueth Gabriel, 20 years old, South Sudanese (Jonglei state)

Chikueth Gabriel“My parents are from Jonglei state but I was born in Nimule, and have lived here all my life.”

“As a young leader, there are two things am keen on addressing in South Sudan with the help of likeminded young people: I want to see an end to corruption, and a more organised army.”

“I know that I can’t do much about our disorganised army, but when I get the opportunity to lead in an influential position, I will address it immediately. We need an army that is disciplined and orderly. In Nimule, soldiers walk around with guns the any way they please, and even end up harassing people for no good reason. This is not how the army should behave.”

“Corruption is another big problem that needs to be resolved. There is no financial transparency in South Sudan. Top leaders are using money meant for the whole nation to live luxurious lives.”


“My desire is to study computer science and become a database administrator. This way, I will promote transparency through carefully monitoring all information. If everything is strictly monitored, corruption can be minimized. I will also be able to interact with people and encourage them to practice integrity and transparency in their work. I strongly believe that if I do my part and encourage others to do the same, we can jointly bring meaningful change to South Sudan.”

“I am grateful for my time at LASS. This opportunity has changed my life.”



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