SUPPORTING CHILDREN TO REMAIN IN SCHOOL
Rebecca, 20, reading a book at her school in Maban, South Sudan. Photo: Tito Justin/Save the Children
Maban, South Sudan - “Rebecca’s father was a government employee. He worked as a member of parliament in Upper Nile State Government. Rebecca said, her father used to give her everything to support her education. When fighting broke out in Malakal in 2016, Rebecca’s father lost his job and was left without money to support Rebecca. They then fled Malakal to Maban, an area that hosts refugees from Sudan.
While in Maban, Rebecca’s Father could not support her education since he had no job, making it difficult for Rebecca to continue with her education. Rebecca was left without any support even to continue with her school when still in primary seven (7). This forced her to an early marriage with a hope that the husband would cater for her basic needs - that didn’t work out and Rebecca could not also continue with the marriage.
When her marriage failed, Rebecca decided to stay with her sister since she got pregnant. She decided to go back to school after learning from Save the Children's education and protection programs that, education is good. She is now in primary eight (8) completing her primary education in 2021. “If you are married and you don’t have work, you will be waiting for everything from someone”, Rebecca says.
“It’s better to go to school. Here in the School, Save the Children gave us dignity kits (re-usable sanitary pads, slippers, bar soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, torch, petti coats, under-garments; so we can stay in school). We also have free scholastic materials (books and pens).
"I want girls with a child or children like me to go back to school”.
In South Sudan, education as a right to all children has been impacted by poverty that forces girls and boys out of school at early age. Most educational infrastructures have poor structures, unqualified teachers. Few qualified teachers also leave for greener jobs because of little or no pay by the government. School children are worried of their future to remain in school because of little or no food to eat. This is forcing more children out of school if not addressed.
Save the Children with funding from DANIDA is providing access to inclusive quality basic education to boys and girls in the host communities in Maban. Save the Children is supporting Rebecca and other children to remain in school by providing her with scholastic materials (books, pens, bags etc.) and hygiene or dignity kits (soap, sanitary pads, etc.) that her parents cannot afford.
Save the Children also renovated the school structures where Rebecca studies and gave Rebecca’s teachers incentives. Save the Children builds capacity and develops plans for school management committees’/parent teacher associations, school leaders (head teachers, deputy head teachers and senior female teachers) host and IDP education committees and county education departments.
Written by: Tito Justin/Save the Children