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Documentary shows how priests offer a future to refugees in camps

Fleeing with only the clothes on one's back, being separated from one's family, leaving one's country behind, finding food and water, are no easy tasks. Alice and Gladys are well aware of this. They are two young mothers who fled war in search of a better future for their children.


“I think it's a paradigm of the situation in Africa, and a paradigm full of hope. You see these women who aren't defeatists. They're young women who look to the future, who fight for a future. Through education and with the community, they seek to insert themselves into society and transform it.”

These two women are the protagonists of “Palabek, Refuge of Hope.”

This documentary is based on the experiences of these young mothers after their escape from war in South Sudan and their arrival in a refugee camp. The camp spans 155 square miles and holds 40,000 inhabitants. It is located in northern Uganda, near the country's border with South Sudan.

Thanks to these priests, Alice is finishing up her studies. Gladys is training to be a mechanic.

The Salesians are the only group—of the 32 active organizations in Palabek—that permanently resides inside the camp. They continue to advocate for education while peace is attained.


“We know there are many elements making it difficult to achieve peace. They're elements requiring a lot of patience. For example, there are tribal problems, issues of political ambition, external interests that make the road to peace hard. However, we—the Church, the Holy See, different people—are working to propose and build peace in South Sudan. That's what the people have been hoping for for such a long time.”

The documentary “Palabek, Refuge of Hope,” powerfully shows how refugees, despite their suffering, maintain their desire to fight and keep moving forward.

The director is Spaniard Raúl de la Fuente, who is documenting the Salesians' social work around the world.

Daniel Díaz Vizzi
Translation: Claudia Torres