Have you ever been arrested for being kind to others?
August 16, 2020 (Thessherald)–Meet Manyang Malet Manyang, a South Sudanese philanthropist who has spent over five years devoting his energy to caring for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in society.
Since 2015, Manyang has demonstrated absolute altruism, donating assistive devices to persons with disabilities, caring for the poor and helping wounded soldiers by giving them the necessary support.
“I’ve been doing this for over 5 years now. I started with street children in Juba, going door to door to help vulnerable people and visit wounded soldiers at Juba Military Hospital. I donate bars of soap and sheets to keep them warm while undergoing treatment.”
In an exclusive interview with The South Sudan Herald, Manyang recounted that his kind heart once landed him in prison after being accused of criticizing the government on social media. “One day I was in Juba central prison for two months because of helping vulnerable people and writing on Facebook about street children in Juba, South Sudan.”
Manyang believes that, everyone on earth is worth of honor and respect for who they and not just for what they can do and that they ought to be treated with dignity.
“Talk to them; (referring to the elderly) hold their hands, every minute we spend with them counts and means a lot to them. They feel lonely, they are our mothers, they live in the streets and all they need from us is love.”
In the face of challenges posed by COVID-19, Manyang relies on fundraising platforms to help him raise funds for the poor and persons with disabilities.
Touring the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, the South Sudanese philanthropist explained that he couldn’t hold back his tears when he saw the elderly and children lying in the streets of Nairobi without food to eat and water to drink.
“One day I woke up early in the morning, I took a long walk on the streets of Nairobi Kenya. On my arrival, I saw a lot of children, women and men who were struggling from different disabilities – sitting on the streets begging for money for their daily bread. I saw more than 100 people in less than one hour, and I couldn’t hold back my tears. I looked at the sky and asked myself whether God really looks at these vulnerable people with contempt or does He really hear my daily prayers.”
We threw an open-ended question, asking Manyang to explain more about what made him passionate about helping the most disadvantaged groups in society.
“My father used to help vulnerable people in the Kakuma refugee camp in northern Kenya, so I follow in my father’s footsteps. I also need to give back to my community and let the vulnerable know that there are people like me out there who love them,” he narrated.
As innocent children end up on the street for a whole host of reasons, he criticized police officers who beat up helpless street kids without a second thought.
“Some people in this world are just so crazy. One day I saw a policeman beating up street children and a young man with a disability, in a way that completely put me off. Couldn’t do anything I just walked away feeling sad.”
He strongly believes that what goes around comes around and that we will be rewarded or punished depending on the good or bad deeds that we do on earth.
“My dream is to help the vulnerable not only in South Sudan but all over the world. My dream is to support them and make them feel happy and loved. Please never ignore them when you come across them on the street or anywhere.”
“They are poor and some sleep under tall buildings in cold and hot weather – as they couldn’t make the effort to pay the rental fees. They are powerless, they need good love and care. They need to shake our hands and they want us to talk to them. They are ignored by many people, and they are mistreated in public places. They cannot do anything because they have nowhere to go.”
Manyang stressed that his love for humanity has no frontiers and that he is committed to supporting anyone regardless of race, gender, religion and other forms of discrimination.
“My charitable work has no limits I can help anyone, for those who have no legs I am theirs, those who have no eyes I will be their eyes, those who have no hands I am their hands, and those who are deaf I am their ears. Through life experience, I have learned a lot and realized that success isn’t just about the money you make, but it’s all about the difference it makes in people’s lives.”