Orphaned and Sick Children
The Sidney Simon/ Mustard Seed Program provides a safe place for children who were slaves or survivors of Sudan’s civil war and have no parents or need on-going medical help.
The program started with a grant from Diane Gooch and Sidney Simon, a Jewish Holocaust Survivor who lost his parents to the Nazi’s when he was a teenager.
Our goal is to provide a safe place for these children to grow, attend school (we send them to a Catholic school which is academically sound) and to have Dr. Luka Deng Kur provide them with ongoing medical treatment. They should live fulfilling lives and work to provide value to their families and burgeoning country.
It costs about $2,400 to provide food, clothing, medication and schooling for each child per year.
Garang Aguot Tong was three years old when he was shot in the leg by his Sudanese master, Mohammad Abdulah. Garang, now 12, was abducted with his parents during his infancy.
One day, while his parents worked in the field, Garang cried to be nursed by his mother, Kuanyiny Bok. She stopped working and nursed her son. “Our master saw my mother nursing me, and came with a gun,” said Garang. “He asked my mother why she was sitting down. He started shooting at her, but missed and shot me instead. My mother ran away. My father heard the shots, thought my mother was dead, and ran away, too. I never saw them again. Nobody ever told me what happened to them.”
Garang was then raised by his slave master, renamed Abdullah, and tasked with herding goats.
“He was a bad man. Sometimes, he didn’t give me food,” said Garang. “He beat me if I said I was hungry… I had to call him father. He used me like a woman several times.”
Garang, who never knew his home village in South Sudan, was sent to Dr. Luka’s compound in Aweil after his liberation. He currently attends school and now lives with a number of other orphans in Aweil in Gabriel Akuei’s compound.