Wenyen Gabriel | Humanity

“The international community must not forget South Sudan. » These words are those of Wenyen Gabriel, basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers and former Sudanese refugee in the United States. Engaged since 2020 with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the sportsman returned last week to his country of origin for the first time since his early childhood. There, in conjunction with the UNHCR, he organized a basketball camp with young displaced people, met families and visited camps.

The objective of this action is to use sport to help refugees build a better future, but also to attract, thanks to its notoriety, the attention of the international community to this little publicized cause. He, who was helped across the Atlantic by the UNHCR to obtain refugee status, knows the importance “is about helping people who have been forced to flee their homes.”

Wenyen Gabriel left his home country just two weeks after he was born. After a brief stint in Egypt, his family settled in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA. He was raised in part by his 7-year-old brother. His mother worked night and day to obtain the financial resources to bring his father across the Atlantic.

Independent since 2011, South Sudan is plagued by multiple internal conflicts for control of power. The country has also recently experienced extremely violent floods, bringing the number of refugees to 337,120. UNHCR is providing the most affected people with hygiene items, food and emergency shelter. The refugee crisis in South Sudan is the largest in Africa but also one of the most underfunded in the world.


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