Since 1955, Sudan has suffered two long civil wars. More than 2 million people have been killed and over 4 million displaced.
In July 2011, South Sudan became a country in its own right. Many of those who had fled because of war have now made their way back in search of peace.
Nyanut, 20, gave birth to her first baby daughter, Adhet, on 9 July 2011, an auspicious day in South Sudan - Independence Day.
Having grown up in northern Sudan away from her homeland and family members, she wants a different life for her daughter: ‘We moved to live in the north because of the war.
'My mother used to tell us about South Sudan. When peace came, my mother said that she wanted to return.
‘When I saw my homeland I felt so happy because peace had come and I could see my home state. Before, I did not feel free. In the north, I knew that I did not belong.’
Nyanut is now building a new house for her growing family with the support of a grant from Christian Aid partner Hope Agency for Relief and Development (HARD).
HARD have also installed a much-needed borehole. With another child on the way, Nyanut is particularly grateful as now she does not have to walk so far to collect water.
The role of the church
Nyanut regularly attends the local Pentecostal church run by her aunt, Teresa, and believes that the church has an important role to play in bringing peace to this new nation.
She says: ‘The church changes people’s lives in the community. When you are facing difficulties, God will look after you. My brother was sick and lots of people came to the house to pray. They came and helped us through hard times.’
Nyanut is now looking to the future. Like any mother, she wants Adhet to grow strong and have the opportunity to go to school. She also hopes to work as a server in her local church so that she can support her local community.
Nyanut adds: ‘I feel so happy to have a baby born on Independence Day. I'm glad to have a family and responsibilities, and this new home is a new beginning for us all.'
John Gang Amot, a staff member at HARD, has returned to South Sudan to help rebuild his homeland. He gives a harrowing insight into what it was like to be a child soldier during the second civil war in Sudan.