This is the story of how the Makur family came to Australia to live safely.
I am Martin Majur Majak and I live with Martha Makur and our six children in Dorrigo, Northern NSW. We come from Yirol in Southern Sudan. My parents died when I was very young and my uncle took me into his family and brought me up. My uncle joined the army, became a captain and was killed 6 years later when I was 18. I was very sad when he died because he had loved me and was like a father to me.
After his death the war came closer to our home so one night we left to join other refugees on the walk to Kenya. There were more than 500 in our group but many were to die on the journey. We walked from village to village for 5 weeks caring for two young children and carrying what little food and water we had. We had an escort of soldiers for protection, and suffered many attacks by land and air from government forces. Some refugees were killed during these attacks whilst others died because they were to ill or weak to survive the journey. We stayed in some villages for 5 days or more waiting for U.N . food drops and to allow the sick to recover.
“It is a violent place where many people are raped and murdered. We lived in Kakuma camp for 8 years, we looked for resettlement and prayed to God for help every day.”
Martin Majur Majak, 2006
We spent 3 weeks at Lokichokio on the Kenyan border where the U.N. registered us for ration cards and transferred us to the Kakuma refugee camp. Kakuma is desert country with very hot weather we had very little food and water and we were always hungry. It is a violent place where many people are raped and murdered. We lived in Kakuma camp for 8 years, we looked for resettlement and prayed to God for help every day. Fortunately we were lucky to get a visa to come to Australia and Sanctuary arranged our airfares and settlement, the Sanctuary people in Dorrigo are our friends and they help us in many ways.
Martha and I and our six children now have a home, good food and are happy and healthy in this free country . The children are doing well at school, Martha is learning English and I have gained my school certificate and will go on to year 11 this year. I thank Australian Immigration and Sanctuary for their help and ask you to think of the many African refugees in Kenya and Uganda and help them if you can.