Geraldton man stops teenage wedding

Headshot of Geoff Vivian
Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
Guor Michar and his wife Abok Dau.
Camera IconGuor Michar and his wife Abok Dau. Credit: Francesca Mann

A South Sudanese man living in Geraldton has rescued his teenage sister from an arranged marriage to a 65-year-old man in his former home country.

Guor Michar, a Wandina pharmacist, made a mercy dash to the African nation on hearing of plans the 17-year-old was to wed.

“She is now well and safe in Juba,” Mr Michar’s wife Abok Dau said this week. “Guor proceeded to the village to meet those elders who wanted to marry his sister off.”

Ms Dau said a marriage between a 65-year-old man and a 17-year-old girl was “not supposed to be”.

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With Mr Michar away, Ms Dau proceeded with a fundraising concert last weekend for the women and children’s clinic they established in their home community of Panrieng.

“The fundraising event went on very well, with many people coming and great food and entertainment from Geraldton Chinese Dance group and Healing With Song,” she said. “Thank you so much for my lovely article you’ve written in the Friday paper.

“That made everyone come to support this good cause.”

Originally refugees, Mr Michar and Ms Dau earned degrees at the University of South Australia.

Ms Dau said the couple started the clinic in Panrieng about three years ago. She said before the clinic was started, people had to walk up to six hours to see a doctor or nurse.

The clinic employs a doctor, nurse, co-ordinator and security guard.

Funds raised from the concert will go towards replacing a traditional building with a modern concrete facility.

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