Meet James Ring Ring, WV South Sudan Education and Protection lead. Here he reflects on his childhood growing up in a refugee camp and how his life there helped him find his life’s purpose of serving people who are in need the most.
I am James Ring Ring. I am a humanitarian. I was a refugee.
I know first-hand how hard it is to flee from home and live in a refugee camp. Every step away from home is a struggle for survival.
I spent more than 12 years at the Kenya-Kakuma Refugee Camp. The year was 1991, and I was only three. With my mother and aunt, we left our home in a village in Warrap state in the Bahr el Ghazal region near the Sudan-South Sudan border. My late father was a soldier of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. It was the height of the civil war between the north and south parts of Sudan that ultimately led to the independence of the south and gave birth to the country we now call South Sudan.
The kindness, compassion, and generosity I received when I was a child in the refugee camp is the reason why I chose to become a humanitarian for over a decade now.
I can vividly remember attending nursery school inside the camp in 1994. Organisations such as UNHCR provided food, education, health care, clean water, and sanitation. It was in the camp where I completed my primary education. I remember feeling excited to see humanitarian workers visiting the camp. A few years later, my late father joined us in the camp when he got wounded while in battle. He would later then become a teacher inside the camp. There were a number of educated wounded soldiers who were tapped to teach refugee children.
If not for the people and organisations who provided humanitarian aid to the camp, I would not have finished my primary education. When I left the camp in 2004, I knew in my heart that someday, I would do similar work. The kindness, compassion, and generosity I received when I was a child in the refugee camp is the reason why I chose to become a humanitarian for over a decade now.
I now work at World Vision here in South Sudan. I have taken different roles that are mainly focused on education, peacebuilding, and the protection of vulnerable communities, especially children. I am motivated to contribute and do my part in reaching the most vulnerable children in our supported schools, including children with disability, because I feel uncomfortable when I see a fellow human being, especially children, suffering.
I will do what I can in my capacity to alleviate their suffering because I know that this is what God has called me to do. At a very young age, he ignited my desire to serve and follow Him. To be able to help in whatever way I can, gives me so much joy and a sense of fulfillment, knowing that I am living my purpose. I will endeavor to continue, hoping to put smiles on children’s faces.