6 December 2012

South Sudan: Grace Taban Genova - 'I Wanted to Build a Good Business, but What I Have Is Not Enough to Grow It'

Juba — Grace Taban Genova, who thinks she is around 38, is searching for a job and land to cultivate. In the meantime, she sells home-made liquor brewed from kola-nut, sugar, yeast and water.

Genova's family is originally from what is now South Sudan, but for years they lived near Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, where her husband was a civil servant. In 2009, she returned south, moving to Juba - now the capital of South Sudan - but her husband stayed behind. Their marriage fell apart after lost his job when the South seceded in 2011.

Genova says her husband knows where she and their four children are living, but he doesn't send money.

"My financial situation is terrible. It's not stable and depends on the market: Sometimes I sell my home brew and sometimes I don't. Things are too bad.

"The sicknesses of the children, their lack of education and their feeding are my biggest problems. There's nothing I can do about it apart from the business of brewing.

"When we first came to Juba in 2009, we were in Nyakuron [on the outskirts of the city], and there was school there. Now there is none. In Sudan, they were going to school.

"There is nothing here that is good news, and the bad news is the same old thing - the kids not going to school and the sickness.

"It's not certain things will be better later. I wish the kids would go to school, have medication and food, and that there would be no problems.

"I wanted to build a good business, but what I have is not enough to grow it.

"South Sudan is not what I expected, but this is where I belong. There are more problems here than in the north, where life was a bit better, but there are none that can beat the fact that I am home."

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations.]

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