“The people we met in the villages, in the parishes, some came to welcome us and they took us in,” he said. “So I think there are hundreds, hundreds, if not thousands of people who, in one way or another, participated in the pilgrimage.”
He said that people they met along the way were “really overjoyed to see youth.”
“And also, I think this welcoming in Juba can show how much this initiative inspired the country, and will also show us the way to continue,” he added.
More in Middle East - Africa
South Sudan’s civil war resulted in the deaths of an estimated more than 400,000 people. And while the country reached a formal peace agreement nearly three years ago, violent conflicts are rising in certain parts of the country.
The growing violence and four years of unprecedented flooding have contributed to the 2 million people displaced across South Sudan, according to the World Food Program.
The WFP said food insecurity in the country also continues to increase, as South Sudan faces its hungriest year since independence.
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Hannah Brockhaus is Catholic News Agency's senior Rome correspondent. She grew up in Omaha, Nebraska, and has a degree in English from Truman State University in Missouri.