Photo by John Pemble

Mandela Wani Michael joined the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army when he was just 11 years old. He says he wanted to keep going to school, but that was not an option.

“When the war broke out, we had to leave my town. Finding food and water, it became a problem. I would wake up and think ‘I have to go to school,’ but there was no school in the bush. The only way for me to be with friends was to join my friends as child soldiers.”

Dr. Alan Koslow / Facebook

An Iowa doctor is preparing to come home after spending the past couple of weeks doing relief work in a part of the world facing one of the worst refugee crises in memory.

Dr. Alan Koslow is a vascular surgeon from Des Moines. He landed in South Sudan about two weeks ago, in an area where tens of thousands of refugees have been fleeing violence and famine across the border in Sudan.

Koslow spoke with IPR's Sarah McCammon through an internet phone from the South Sudanese capital of Juba.