My name is Stephen. I was born the last among two brothers and two sisters in Gogrial, South Sudan. My father had two wives among whom my mother was the second and the last wife. Now, I am sorry to say that my mother and my father have died.

My mother told me the story of my birth, how God refused my ultimate death by letting my mother give a heavy breath for a drop when I was hanging at the cervix. Even the traditional birth attendant didn’t know that I would escape the grave. According to my mother, I was to die because those of Anyanya II who wanted to get the food ration had bitten her the day before. Due to that, she developed backache and was unable to facilitate quick delivery. The Anyany II, later called Sudan People’s Liberation Army, used to get food ration from the communities. My mother became seriously ill. However, my mother managed to nurture me, to feed me and to make me who I am today. My mother was not able to produce any other child and the family nicknamed me a ‘wizard’ in reference to the culture.

When I heard that story at age 5, I declared myself a member of Anyany II so that I could revenge my mother. I started by creating local guns out of trees.

At age 6 years, a rebel faction captured my town of Gogrial. We had to run to the forest to save our lives. The soldiers caught and slashed me, forcing me to show them where my parents had buried the grains.

In 1996, my maternal uncle who was a priest took me to school. I had to go to school naked because there was no capacity from my mother or my father to buy some clothes. While with my maternal uncle, I felt at home although our living quarters were crowded and unhealthy. Unfortunately two years later my uncle died. I mourned his death.

Our living conditions became even worse. Our living style spared no time to divide the assets with my maternal uncles. It went tougher and tougher accompanied by the illness of my elder brother. We pushed on. The remainder of my childhood was spent depending on wild trees for food and tedious manual work.

My dream of becoming a doctor.

In 2003 I won the position of a nursing aid in Medicins Sans Frontieres. This was a starting point to my objective of finding out why mother didn’t give birth to others after me and why many women could die during delivery. I dreamt to be a future medical doctor for south Sudan.

In 2004, I was given the opportunity to go to Kenya to study in seminary school with the intention of becoming a future priest. I ended up working in the Infirmary for 2 years, so I was still following my dream to be a medical doctor.

With the ambition of going for medical school, I dropped out of seminary and joined private secondary school in Wau, South Sudan. Amazingly, I passed with colors and applied for medical school. I was admitted to the Upper Nile University in Sudan (Khartoum) to study medicine. However, due to my financial instability, I was forced to drop out in 2011.

Today, my dream is coming true and I am back in medical school with the help of Future Doctors for South Sudan.

Why am I committed to becoming a future medical doctor in South Sudan?

I would like to become a doctor with the primary goal of serving my fellow human beings in South Sudan and beyond with proper and professional healthcare. I feel pain deeply in my heart when I see the people of my village with no choice but to buy drugs on the ground at high prices without considering the conditions of these drugs. The death rate is increasing because we are being served with wrong and expired medicine by unqualified pharmacists.

The low number of medical personnel and health facilities in South Sudan make me pray harder to become a future medical doctor. Seeing my homeland suffering, with an extreme lack of medical capacity, I shall be very much committed to give necessary medical services in my country.

written by Stephen