Happiness is education and the war with words
By CLEO SRIBER
KEUI Manyoun doesn't hesitate when she is asked what's the best thing about being here in Coffs Harbour.
"Education! There is no opportunity for education at home."
Since arriving in Australia from Sudan three years ago, Keui has been studying accounting part time at TAFE.
She also works part time at Hairemovers in Park Street doing hair braiding and extensions and attends English classes two days a week.
The subsidised childcare she receives for her two small children help her in her study and work.
Keui knows what hard times are.
Driven by war from her own country and travelling between Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, the only place to go eventually was to a refugee camp in Kenya where she lived for seven years.
The squalid conditions and severe overcrowding were hard to bear.
She was lucky to be with her mother and five sisters though her father had died in Sudan in that country's civil war.
"In the camp it was very bad," Keui said.
"There was no water, no medicines, no proper food."
Her mother and sisters are still in the camp in Kenya and it will be two years before they can come and join her in Australia.
"My life is good now, it is easier here, but I still think about the people in Africa and feel sad," she said.
"We are looking forward to setting up a cultural program in the future, but right now there is no support.
"I am happy here. People love each other and there is no war."