Story by Nadia Kalinchuk, National Headquarters, Outreach Coordinator and Americas Caseworker - with contribution from Manyang Reath Kher
At 23 years old, Manyang Reath Kher is an inspiration to us all. His story is one of resilience, empowerment and leadership. To begin with, Manyang became a refugee of the Sudanese civil war at the age of 3. Like many of the Sudanese youth fleeing the region, he lost a parent during the conflict and was separated from his mother and sister. Manyang's father was one of the two and a half million people killed during the conflict. Manyang’s journey led him to refugee camps along the Sudanese and Ethiopian border. Despite having found a respite from the conflict, Manyang continued to face the hardships that inevitably follow - homelessness, hunger, fear, and abuse. Having received refugee status, at 17, Manyang was brought to America where he learned English and eventually enrolled in college. While his start in life was tumultuous, he felt that it was imperative to give back to his community. From this desire, he founded Humanity Helping Sudan to improve the lives of Sudanese refugees and attempt to battle the problems of an entire displaced population. Humanity Helping Sudan runs on-the-ground programs at refugee camps where they provide fishing nets, agricultural programs, and community gardens, reaching 40,000 displaced people.
As a part of the work done by Humanity Helping Sudan, there are three areas of focus in which this project feels that it can most effectively assist the region: agricultural training (education), food shortage and refugee health. Read more about Humanity Helping Sudan Project here.
With this inspirational work, his commitment to his education and travel to Sudan, it is hard to imagine that Manyang has room for little else in his life. Amazingly, he remains a committed volunteer and advocate of the American Red Cross Restoring Family Links program. We are fortunate to work with an advocate like Manyang and highlight his work in the community.