At the age of 12, Juke Mabior and his family fled their home in Bahr al Ghazal State because of the brutal Sudanese civil war. Mabior spent three and a half years fighting in the bush as a child soldier before living in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. At 17, he was resettled to the United States, where he obtained his GED and completed his bachelor's degree in computer science. In 2006, Mabior began a volunteer assignment with the USAID-funded VEGA/AMED program assisting the Government of Southern Sudan Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Conservation set up computer equipment donated by the UN. He trained more than 20 employees in basic computer applications and also mentors the staff of the new IT department. In addition to training, Mabior helped the Ministry develop a personnel database and a website.
Juke has now decided to stay in his homeland and he has started two companies in Juba, Sudan. One company, known as IT Solutions has 3 employees, and the other company South Sudan Business Week is an English Weekly newspaper that employs 10 people. His company IT Solutions received a $5000 grant from USAID’s AMED Project.
When Juke took his volunteer position, he did not realize the sense of greater contribution he was about to render. And it has been a contribution that not only has transformed his life, but now is set to transform his homeland country of Southern Sudan.
VEGA plans, manages, and supports volunteer work overseas under a five-year Leader with Associates Cooperative Agreement with USAID that began in February 2004. The VEGA member organizations that recruited,fielded, and supported the work of these volunteers are ACDI/VOCA; Citizens Development Corps: Citizen’s Network for Foreign Affairs; Financial Services Volunteer Corps; International Executive Service Corps; the International Institute of Education; the International Senior Lawyers Project, Opportunities Industrialization Centers International; and Winrock International.