I Fear They Choose Cattle Over My Education
"Education is all I need now"
“My Name is Abuk* and I go to school in Lankien. I live with my mother’s parents and we cannot afford enough food to eat in a day, life has been hard. We survive on the help we get from Save the Children and other humanitarian agencies.
I cannot live with some of my family members as I’m scared that they can easily exchange me for dowry. I am unhappy because my uncle wants me to leave school and get married but, my mother’s family have refused.
I fear they would choose cattle over my education. I do not want to get married before I complete my education. I am still worried that my uncle will force me to marry without my consent. I do not want to lose my education for a dowry.”
Abuk*, 15 years old girl, fled from the village she lived with her parents to Lankien, to escape conflict and threat of forced marriage. She decided to leave her village with her younger sister, Sunday*, to avoid her uncle who was forcing her into early marriage without her consent. Her uncle tried numerous times to get her married in exchange of 50 heads of cattle as dowry. But, Abuk’s focus was not to get married but to complete her education.
“Save the Children has helped me to continue with my education. They have given me exercise books, pens, bags and hygiene kits including sanitary pads – things I cannot afford. My teachers tell me not to get married before completing my education and to respect others. They tell me not to fight. I like the advice they give me, and that is why I want to continue with my education. I will be happy if I finish my education and become a nurse so that I can take care of other girls and give them good advice, says Abuk.”
As a leading actor in education, Save the Children started “Children of Peace,” project in South Sudan which focuses on the learning needs of children who are constantly on the move in search of relative safety. The education programme also supports children from vulnerable and poor households continue with their education.
The project aims to increase access to protective learning environments, integrated quality education and participation of community members. We also construct temporary and semi-permanent learning spaces, all equipped with latrines and hand washing stations, and supply teaching and learning materials to pupils and teachers. More than 13,000 children are benefitting from our unique basic education program and have accredited training courses for 9,600 teacher
Save the Children in Jonglei State with support from UNICEF and in partnership with County Education Departments has been implementing a nine (9) months project entitled providing quality integrated education programming for conflict-affected, school-aged children in Jonglei.
The UK Charity is supporting 37 primary schools, 6 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers, 3 Accelerated Learning Program (ALP) centers and 2 secondary schools in Nyirol (Lankien, Uror and Akobo West counties).
Written by | Tito Justin