Charles Darwin University student Peter Clouting will travel to Sudan in Africa next week to help Sudanese refugees in the build up to an independence referendum early next year that could see the country split in two.
Peter, 27, said that thousands of Sudanese refugees were returning to the homelands they once fled to vote in a referendum that could change their lives forever.
“The people of south Sudan want to become their own independent country,” he said. “For this to happen, the refugees must return to their region of birth to ensure their vote is counted.”
Peter will work with Disaster Aid Australia as a team leader in the region of Sudan known as Abeyi, to help distribute survival boxes and teach refugees how to set up and maintain equipment in the kits.
“The people from this area fled to escape civil war and have nothing to come back to,” he said. “The kits are made up of tents, cooking equipment, water filtration equipment, food and a children’s pack, which will help the people returning to this area of Sudan survive until they are able to rebuild.
“If the referendum goes their way these people can begin to re-build their homes and lives in Abeyi.”
Peter moved from Sydney to Darwin to study at CDU and is in his first year of a Bachelor of Humanitarian and Community Studies.
“CDU is the only university in the world that offers a full undergraduate Humanitarian degree,” he said. “Although I have the practical experience, a degree will enable me to make a career out of the work I really love.”
Peter recently returned from Pakistan where he spent three weeks helping with the flood relief efforts. After Sudan he will travel to Tanzania to volunteer during his three months university holidays in an orphanage and with a Maasai village.
“I would also like to visit every country in Africa and make a difference where I can. When I am done there, I would also like to volunteer in South America.”
Peter has been involved in humanitarian work since he was 15 years old when he volunteered in Zimbabwe with his high school. He has since volunteered in Ghana, Papua New Guinea with Cyclone Guba, and to assist in the aftermath of the earthquake in Sichuan, China.