Surviving outside the military

3 Sep 2012

Surviving outside the military

John Okulo has come a long way since he signed up as a child soldier during the height of Sudan's civil war at the age of 14.

Unlike many of his comrades who served in the Sudan People's Liberation Army, the now 21-year-old former combatant has successfully re-entered civilian life.

Harking back to a childhood desire, John's main ambition after laying down his gun was to go back to school, according to Oluku Andrew Holt, South Sudan Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (SSDRC) Child DDR Coordinator.

"In 2009, Okulo joined St Joseph Vocational Training in Narus, Kapoeta, where he studied for two years (and was) later awarded with a certificate in auto mechanics," the DDR Coordinator said.

To make himself more marketable, John then completed a course at Dealers International Driving School in Juba, where he was awarded a driving license by South Sudan traffic police.