We are unbelievably proud and excited that our Director in South Sudan, Bishop Elias Taban, received a 2013 Clinton Global Citizen Award last night. Essence covers the event well:
During the 2013 Clinton Global Citizen Awards in New York City, hundreds of people gathered to honor men and women whose work and advocacy contributed to the social change within their respective communities, and the world.
The Clinton Global Initiative, which was founded in 2005 as a way to bring leaders together to brainstorm and create solutions to the world’s most difficult problems, has taken a moment each year to emphasize community involvement through the awards ceremony.
One of this year’s honorees, National Bishop Elias Taban of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, stepped on the stage to share his personal story that was both heartbreaking and inspiring. Born during the civil war in Sudan, his mother left her village and ran to the forest where she lived with her newborn for three days, hiding from the brutality that would soon follow.
A few years later, Taban was recruited as a child soldier where he witnessed the worst of poverty, war and disease. Taban was later able to move forward with this life, enrolling in school and studying both theology and civil engineering before going to work for the people of both South Sudan and Uganda as a religious leader.
A man of great conviction, Taban addressed guests at the awards ceremony last night, “Today, to be honored here with this great award, is a miracle from God to the nation of the people of Southern Sudan and Africa at large.”