Kakuma student applies knowledge and leadership skills to ensure survival of tribe’s language
Galdo fled his native South Sudan due to civil strife and persecution. He has been living in Kakuma, Kenya, since end of 2004.
In Kenya, he managed to complete his primary education and in 2013, he also obtained his Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). Two years went by without any viable opportunities for Galdo to further pursue his education. Finally, in 2015, he was able to start the JWL Community and Development Business course and went on to complete the Primary Teacher Training course. His journey continues, as he has now embarked on the JWL Diploma programme which he is due to complete in 2020.
Galdo belongs to the Lopit tribe, from the Eastern Equatoria region of South Sudan. The Lopit language, which has six main/well-known dialects, has more of an oral tradition. Putting his newly acquired skills and knowledge to use, Galdo started the Ihuhu Writing Project in order to ensure the survival of the Lopit language, establishing records and creating a space for the transmission of Lopit culture. With the support of community members as well as researchers (including a team of researchers from the University of Melbourne) the project aims to “write down Lopit stories and texts covering the history, mythology and present day culture of the Lopit community,” to be made available on a website and in a library in Kakuma Camp. All of this tradition would be written down in multiple dialects, ensuring that those aren’t lost, either. The library would be a knowledge repository as well as a space for students to come together, study and learn. Furthermore, there would be English translations in order to “support emerging literacy skills in both languages.” In future, these resources could be shared with other refugees camps.
Galdo seems to thrive on being an active member of his community. He volunteers as a primary school teacher and works for the International Rescue Committee (IRC) as Medical Record Clerk.