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Rift Valley Institute

Making local knowledge work

Santino Garang Akot, 1982-2020


After a long battle with cancer, our friend and colleague Santino passed away on 28 October 2020 in Khartoum in the care of his family.

Santino was deeply dedicated to learning and teaching. Born in Wedweil village north of Aweil town in the early 1980s, shortly before the second civil war broke out in the area, Santino lost his mother when he was two years old, followed by the loss of his father. He sought refuge with his sisters in Khartoum’s displaced camps.He found his early education at Zagalona and Jabarona displaced camp primary schools in Khartoum and later Gezira in the East in the 1990s, and by the 2000s was in Arabic-, English- and French-language classes, while also teaching as a volunteer. Returning to South Sudan at independence, Santino continued volunteer teaching across Wau, Aweil and Nyamlel and helped to establish a community school in Nyamlel, his home town. Santino obtained a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of Juba in 2015. He returned to Aweil where he taught at St. Maria Gorreti Secondary School and Aweil Teachers’ Training Institute at  Maper, Aweil town.

Santino worked for the RVI on several research projects over 2018 and 2019 on cross-border political economies, histories of customary authorities, and most recently on a community project building knowledge about COVID-19 across the Aweil area. Santino was a determined, creative and friendly man and a great colleague. He will be missed by all for his early departure.


Nicki Kindersley and Joseph Diing Majok

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