I have just gotten permission to share part of my thesis with all you from one of the women I interviewed. Her name is Pastor Heidi McGuinness. As I had mentioned in an earlier entry I want to continue to advocate for the rights of the South Sudanese people who are enslaved.
Five years after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005 that was signed by the Sudan’s North and South, there are tens of thousands of children, women and men who are still enslaved. Slavery is a crime according to International Law. Article Four of the United Universal Declaration of Human Rights denounces slavery and the Genocide Convention of the United Nations condemns forceful removal of children from their parents. Yet, it is still happening…. Slavery exists in Sudan.
On page 20 of my thesis Pastor Heidi is speaking about her life and what she had experienced as a young girl in Germany and Sudan. This is a quote from my interview.
Everything I observed, experienced and learned about the injustices against humanity made me an advocate for human rights. It all formulated who I became and who I am and who I encourage others to be, on behalf of the human family but also on behalf of creation. The raping of the earth and the seas and the land and the sky.
By the time Rwanda occurred it was over in two months. Eight hundred thousand people were hacked to death. When I heard about the South Sudanese genocide I decided that I had to do something and invite others to do something too.
The first time I went to Sudan I realized that slavery was a part of it and I became an abolitionist. What was so shocking to me in documenting the stories of men, women, and children was the bestial savagery that was inflicted upon them in captivity: intentional burnings, blinding, branding, intentionally inflicted wounds, amputations, mutilations…on men, women, and children. I saw horrific evidence of torture. I am committed to being a modern day abolitionist both in advocacy and action because of what I had seen done to such beautiful people, siblings of mine.
A lot of good people were silent in Germany. Fear and hate are cousins. Fear makes people become silent. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “An in justice somewhere is an injustice everywhere.” Another quote that is so salient, “in the end it isn’t the voice of our enemy that we’ll remember but the silence of our friends.”
Too many of us are silent and too many of us are not doing enough to be a voice for the voiceless ones, or to bring the voiceless ones to us so that their voices can be heard. To have all these egregious assaults on the human family and for us to not have put an end to the genocide in South Sudan that raged for twenty three years, that included slavery. Still the genocide has raged in Darfur since 2003. Yet I have heard insensitive people say “well, the numbers are down in Darfur.” Can you imagine speaking about a human being in terms of numbers being down?
I hope you all had a chance to watch her YouTube video.