ASIA NEWS REPORT: Thanks to the Catholic missionary, who died in 2010, Deng and Mayen can study in South Korea Their goal is to become a doctor and a civil engineer, to return to their homeland and contribute to development. The passion and commitment of the Korean priest and doctor for the people South Sudan told in a documentary.
Seoul (AsiaNews) - Two young South Sudanese celebrated their country's independence (July 9) in South Korea, the country in which they have lived and studied for two years thanks to the efforts of a Catholic missionary whom they met in their villages of origin. The man in question is Fr. John Lee Tae-suk. The priest and doctor spent nine years in Sudan dedicating his life to the poor, sick and needy. The missionary died in January 2010 at only 47 years of age from a tumour. Thanks to the meeting with the South Korean missionary, Deng and Mayen moved to the Asian country, where they will soon begin university with the goal – once they have completed the course - to return to their land of origin.
The story of John Mayen, 24, and Santino Deng, 26, was told by the South KoreanYonhap News Agency. It wanted to mark the independence of southern Sudan by recalling the figure of a great missionary, who lived in a country marked by a long war. The two young South Sudanese, in fact, are in South Korea thanks to a program started by Father Lee. Mayen and Deng arrived in 2009 and 2010, after completing initial studies at the Don Bosco school, built by the South Korean priest in the village of Tonj.
On 9 July, the two young men celebrated Southern Sudan independence after years of civil war "in a different way" with South Korean friends. But their thoughts went to the Korean priest, was able to offer them a chance to study abroad. The commitment of Fr Lee for the poor and sick of the area is told in a documentary released last year a few months before his death, which within a matter of weeks became an unexpected popular success (see AsiaNews 16/11/2010 In two months, 120,000 S Koreans won over by documentary about Fr Lee Tae-suk). Among those who took part in the documentary, titled "Don’t cry for me, Sudan," is the same Deng who promised "maximum commitment to his study."
And it is through education and their university career in South Korea that Deng and Mayen are seeking social redemption .- the first as a doctor in the footsteps of Fr Lee, and second as a civil engineer – to later return to their villages of origin and help in turn their people. Because, as pointed out, none of this would have been possible "without education". Mayen concludes by recalling the tragedy of his people, but adds, "if we remain united, if we put an end to violence and conflict, and we all work together" we can actually improve the reality on the ground.