Phial Dubula Gak, 22, grew up in South Sudan. He is an eloquent and intelligent young man who speaks both the Nuer language, the language of his tribe, and the Kakwa language. Dubla is also recognized for his courage and willingness to serve others in his community.
In the past, he served his community with, he admits, limited skill in leadership, problem-solving, and peace-making. This lack of experience led him to serve with tribalistic tendencies which, in February 2019, caused him to incite a tribal fight between the Neur and Kakwa in the settlement. Dubula got physically involved in the fights, showing no signs of remorse for his actions. It did not occur to him that his violence could cause unrest and trauma to innocent people. When put in a position to lead, he became a perpetrator of tribal violence in the community instead of advocating for peace and coexistence.
A few months later, Dubula was selected to participate in World Renew’s Trauma Healing and Peace Building training, where he was able to learn the true qualities of leadership. He saw how peacebuilding and serving people with compassion and integrity can change a community for good.
In his own words, “I have learnt problem solving skills and the different methods of conflict management, how to treat others with respect and love, so as to demonstrate God’s love. My life has completely changed from perpetrator of conflict to a change maker.”
Now, Dubula lives in the Bidibidi refugee settlement, where he is a Vice Youth Representative in the Council of the Refugee Welfare System. His embedded desire to serve and his newfound compassion led his community to identify him as one fit to lead in this role.
Dubula has appreciated the importance of mediation, negotiation and coordination of activities among the youths. He has vowed to save his personal life and the community from the strong rooted heart of tribalism, that is, stereotypes and prejudice against other tribes. He hopes to provide support to those who have experienced trauma and to be an agent of forgiveness in the community by practicing what he has learned.