Few people know about the country of South Sudan and fewer still know about its capital city of Juba. South Sudan is the world’s youngest country. Located in northeastern Africa, it was established in 2011 as a result of a referendum that saw it split from Sudan. It has a population of over 8 million and is predominantly Christian. It is also among the poorest among the nations although it has substantial mineral deposits.
It was in early 2019 when Chapter Chairman Juma John Deng was in Kuala Lumpur that he got introduced to Kiwanis at a dinner party at the home of Mario del Castillo and Maria Chee. Other Kiwanians were there including Prof. Bill and Sally Rothwell, both Kiwanians from Pennsylvania. Later that year, the chapter was organized and Mario went to Juba to preside over the installation ceremonies for 24 members and to conduct their first Kiwanis training program.
The club’s adopted long-term project is the Divine Mercy Center in Juba City, home to about 90 war-orphaned boys. The chapter repaired some of the buildings, provided the center with mosquito nets, provided food supplies, sports equipment and even hosted a Christmas Party. Another project included planting 100 shady trees along Juba’s main street.