Starting Over


Chok, 11, stands outside his home in Melut, in South Sudan. He recently returned to school after he and his family were displaced by civil war. He is among the top students in his class.

Chok and his family are among more than 1.5 million South Sudanese displaced internally by the civil war. Another 507,000 people have fled to neighboring countries since the conflict erupted Dec. 15, 2013. 

Chok’s family fled their hometown of Malakal when warring factions overtook the city in 2014. Rather than leave the country or seek safety in a U.N. base, they settled in Melut, where a friend let them live in his house while he took refuge across the border in Sudan. 

It has been a long, trying experience. But the compassion of friends and strangers alike has given Chok's family some hope in the midst of ongoing, armed conflict and a daily struggle to make ends meet.  

“We left with nothing,” says Jumar, Chok’s stepfather. “Many people lost their lives, and there is still fear in my heart. We can’t go back. We don’t know what will happen.” 

Chok’s parents recently began earning enough income to send him back to school.


Photo ©2015 Melany Markham/World Vision

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