Teach Me to Fish
How Education Can Heal the Children of a Fractured Nation
When floods destroyed their farm, Solomon was grateful his family survived. But without crops to sell, there was no more income. Among other challenges his family faced, soon Solomon and his siblings could no longer attend school.
When young Suha finished primary school, her family determined she would stay home and work. Like so many girls in South Sudan, she wasn’t allowed to attend secondary school. Soon she would be traded in an arranged marriage, and her parents would receive a dowry of cattle in exchange for their daughter.
The Education Crisis at a Glance
- 70 percent of children are not in school
- 73 percent of girls ages 6 to 11 do not attend school
- 60 percent of adult men and 72 percent of women are illiterate
- South Sudan has the lowest school attendance rate in the world
Ayen was just ten when a violent militia tore through his village. He fled with his family to a makeshift camp where Ayen has lived since. There’s no instruction here for children like Ayen. They’ve become part of the dire statistic that looms over South Sudan’s children – 70 percent of children in this country aren’t regularly enrolled in school.
Children of war suffer even further from disrupted educations.
We can reach them with schooling in refugee camps and give them hope.
Obstacles to Education
There are many barriers for children to complete an education here. Poverty, location, displacement. Or like Suha, a longstanding stigma against educating girls hampers their opportunities. They remain trapped in a place of dependence all their lives. Without going to school, children are sentenced to a life shackled by the devastating cycle of poverty.
Tackling the Education Crisis
Often times a Sudan Relief Fund sponsored school is the only chance a child will have to receive a quality education. We support schools across the country like the Brothers of Christian Instruction in the marginalized region of Rimenze; and the Bishop Abangite Secondary School in Yambio.
Loreto Schools for boys and girls in Rumbek graduates students with some of the nation’s highest test scores, and is leading the charge to provide girls with equal access to education. The Don Bosco Primary School is reaching children who live deep in the jungle of Source Yubu, where it was formerly impossible to receive an education, because there were no schools in this part of the country.
No schools existed before in remote locations like the jungles of Source Yubu.
Together we’re providing an opportunity they never had.
Education Changes Everything
The transformational power of education leaves benefits that echo through a family and community for generations. Here are just a few ways:
- Education ends dependence and stops the cycle of poverty from repeating
- Educated children grow up with skills to support themselves and their families
- Educated parents raise educated children
- Education promotes peaceful conflict resolution as the superior solution
Making a Difference
Students graduating from our schools are making a difference. Elizabeth Adak graduated from Loreto School for Girls. She’s the school’s first alumna to become an attorney, and now serves in a civic leadership role in her home community. Other graduates are serving in the fields of medicine and education – working in medical capacities at health clinics, and returning as teachers to educate the next generation.
Girls still struggle to finish school or go at all, many becoming forced child brides.
We’re striving to give them equal access to education.
Promoting Peace through Education
As Gandhi aptly said, “If we are to teach real peace in the world….we shall have to begin with the children.” Some children in South Sudan have only ever seen and known war during their lives. They may have lost parents or siblings to warfare, and live in fear.
In our sponsored schools, children grow up with not only the transforming elements of academics and occupational skills. They’re taught values of good character, citizenship, and peaceful conflict resolution. They learn side by side with students from different tribes and ethnic groups, which helps to end discrimination.
Without going to school, children are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and hardship.
Education transforms their lives.
A Turning Point
With your continued support, we can keep turning the tide on the education crisis here. Teach a child to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. Educate girls to help lead their families and their nation to prosperity. And reach young minds with the message of unity.
Without an education, children in South Sudan will languish in poverty, lacking the means to escape it.
Change begins with reaching hearts and minds. Your gift will help make education possible for children in orphanages and refugee camps, and give little girls a chance to go to school.
Education lifts the next generation from poverty.
Our schools teach peaceful conflict resolution and promote unity.
Sincerely,Neil A. Corkery President
PS – If you’re reading this, it’s because someone taught you the skills to do so. Imagine not having that chance at all? How different would your life be? Please consider sharing a gift today, so a child can go to school who may never be able to without it.
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