06 Jan Emmanuel Jal recipient of Mattie Stepanek Peacemaker Award
Emmanuel Jal PERSONAL STATEMENT:
It is a great honour to be the recipient of this year’s Mattie Stepanek Peacemaker award which I will receive on the 21st of January in NYC, at the We Are Family Foundation gala founded by legendary music producer Nile Rodgers. To know this award has previously been given to some of my heroes including Rev Desmond Tutu, Quincy Jones, Maya Angelou and Paul Simon is deeply humbling. Mattie Stepanek was an extraordinary young boy who is an inspiration because he embodied the purest notion of peace despite his deep suffering.
To receive an award for my efforts in peace activism, whilst my country is still in a state of violent chaos and stress makes me feel that this award is beyond my capabilities. I accept this award only on behalf of everyone in South Sudan who at this moment still hopes for a safer country, for freedom of speech, democracy, equal rights and peace. Peace only happens when we fight for it together. My role as a peace activist isn’t an easy one, I’m still a troubled young man who is still learning how to speak out against atrocities while pushing for peace. I make mistakes and am changing on a daily basis to try and be the best I can. All I know is that I will continue to seek the truth and speak out for those who cannot. It is only when the voices of the victims can be heard that we can find true justice, forgiveness and peace.
This award is not for me, I use it to represent my people in South Sudan, the real peacekeepers who are battling for peace every day whilst facing the most difficult struggles. We Want Peace.
For more information please visit: http://www.wearefamilyfoundation.org/