This former refugee is now a role model for other young people forced to flee their homes.

Twenty years ago, civil war forced Kinyera David Jada to flee his home in what is now South Sudan. He was just 15 years old and had no family, friends or belongings when he reached safety in Uganda.

“I had no hope,” says David. “I was in a foreign country. I was traumatised by what I had witnessed. But when I saw UNHCR staff helping children like me, I knew it would be okay.”

Once a refugee himself, David is now giving back to his community with UNHCR.

After studying education at university with a UNHCR-funded scholarship, David is now an Associate Education Officer with UNHCR South Sudan.

David’s sense of hope grew when UNHCR enrolled him in school, giving him the books he needed and a uniform.

“I was so excited on the first day. When I fled, I didn’t think I would be able to continue my education.”

“I am helping my country with UNHCR, and involved in efforts to bring peace to South Sudan."

David went on to study teaching with a UNHCR-supported scholarship, and became the headmaster of the camp’s primary school. Despite reaching his dreams, one thought remained on his mind: home.

A few years ago, he returned to South Sudan and joined UNHCR as an Associate Education Officer. David’s goal now is to empower young refugees to rebuild their country in peace and dignity.

“I am helping my country with UNHCR, and involved in efforts to bring peace to South Sudan,” he says.

“Being a refugee doesn’t mean that life is over. What refugees need is hope and support so that they can start to help themselves.”

On World Humanitarian Day we pay tribute to people like David who devote themselves to helping others, and remember the aid workers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

We also thank you – our dedicated Australia for UNHCR supporters. Thank you for helping to make UNHCR’s life-saving work possible.

Give your gift to help UNHCR staff members continue to support people forced to flee their homes.
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