Play to unite

The average temperature is around 40 degrees and young people, girls and boys, who attend the Centre are numerous. If the walls were not needed, it was instead a large shed to ensure everyone to play in the shade! After school and on weekends the kids living in Pugnido area reach the Salesian Centre to play and spend their days together in a quiet and safe place. Here Anuak and Nuer peacefully stay together. Obviously, tensions and fears are not lacking given the context in which they live, but the project was intended in order to alleviate similar problems. Although the ‘material contribution’ may seem simplistic, we believe the impact could be significant and that beneath this shed many new friendships can born overcoming the existing barriers.


Pugnido is about 100 km from the border with South Sudan from where thousands of people escape looking for a safe place away from civil war. To handle this problem many are the international organizations operating in the area. The UNHCR refugee camp only has 63 ‘ 367 refugees and asylum-seekers originating from South Sudan (as of 29 April 2016). This closeness with South Sudan and the refugee massive presence are causing many problems due to ethnic tensions between Anuak (about 95.59% of the population) and Nuer, a resident population in the territories between south-western Ethiopia and South Eastern Sudan.

Moreover, Gambella left apart from the Government of Addis Ababa is not secure as it should and it is exposed to the raids of Murle. This ethnic group from South Sudan, represent a threat because they raid, kill and kidnap whatever they find.


The number of direct beneficiaries varies from a bunch of guys who get together in the evening , to 800 young girls and boys playing table football, organizing small tournaments. Every day the Centre hosts children who attend the kindergarten and the boys and girls who live in boarding school and study at neighbouring schools. Daily there are young people in the afternoon that reach the Centre to stay with their friends and play. Not to mention the weekend when the local youngster gather to spend the days together.

The whole area of Pugnido, isolated, poor and complicated benefits from this wonderful project and the small contribution of New Flower in Africa.

Pugnido, or Fugnido, is the main village of the area of Gog in the region of Gambella. This zone is inhabited mainly by ethnic Anuak population and is separated from South Sudan from the Akobo River.