Pope Francis arrived at St. Teresa’s Cathedral in Juba on Saturday to find the crowd packed with enthusiastic women holding up signs for peace.
Among the women was Sister Orla Treacy, a nun from Rumbek who runs a secondary school for girls. The girls and a large group from the parish walked for over a week from Rumbek to Juba to see the Pope.
Seventy percent of the population of South Sudan is illiterate and 2.8 million children are out of school, according to the United Nations, the majority of them are girls.
South Sudan gained its independence from Sudan in 2011, becoming the youngest country in the world. In 2014 a civil war broke out that has left hundreds of thousands of dead. In 2019 the country’s leaders came to the Vatican to meet with the Pope and in a stunning gesture, he dropped to his knees and kissed their feet, begging them to work for peace in the country.
Pope Francis is on a six-day trip in Africa. He spent the first three days in the Democratic Republic of the Congo before traveling to South Sudan.
Watch the video in player above.