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Former Child Soldier Turns Entrepreneur

It’s amazing what can come out of a life of oppression. 

Emmanuel Jal, a young man from South Sudan, grew up in a life that many of us cannot imagine. At 7, he was forced to become a child solider to fight in the South Sudan civil war. He says that one of his most haunting memories is from when he was tempted to eat one of his fellow soldiers for survival. 

During his enrollment, Jai and 200 of his fellow soldiers tried to escape. They ran from the battlefield and attempted to find asylum in Kenya. Sadly, only 16 survived. However, once he and the 15 others reached Kenya, they were smuggled in by a British aid worker. 

Now 33 and free, Jal sings and performs as a peace activist around the world. However, if his experience as a solider taught him anything, it’s to never give up.. As a recently diagnosed diabetic, Jal has committed to bringing healthy food in the form of smoothies to his home nation. He developed “Jal Gua” in conjunction with Niagara College and has already received high acclaim from the press. 

Jal says of this venture, “[At home] When people are walking and get tired, they immediately think they need coffee or sugar, but actually what they need is minerals…This product not only gives you enough energy from its ingredients, it also prevents you from craving food.”

Jal’s ability to do good for the world comes as a result of two things: 1) His experience as a soldier and 2) The kindness of a British aid worker who smuggled him to freedom. 

Thank for helping us move new kids every day from #1 to #2. 

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