Anyier - 10th Grade
Schools are now beginning to reopen after being closed by Coronavirus in South Sudan last April. For now, only the 12th year students that PESS supports have returned. They are required to take national exams soon, so the government allowed them to return to school last October so they can prepare. Other grades will reopen in March. Since there is no widespread internet available to families in homes, there has been no online learning as a substitute for in school classes. Each family is lucky to have a single cell phone to stay in touch with friends and relatives, so communication with students and their families has been difficult.
Even though schools were closed through much of the year and contact with students was limited, Daniel was able to give out personal care supplies to students who came to the office, a few at a time. He has also been able to distribute solar lights so girls could continue to study in the evenings. As students came into the office, Daniel interviewed some of them to find out how they were doing. Let me tell you about one of these students Daniel interviewed over the summer. Her name is Anyier, currently in 10th grade, and a member of the Lion Group. Each PESS supported student is part of a girl group for camaraderie and mutual support.
Anyier shared some of her personal passions in her interview. One thing stood out: She mentioned a woman in leadership whom she admires, Amuor Pach, former Minister of Health. Anyier says the reason she admires Amuor Pach is because of her education. She goes on to say that this gives her great motivation to struggle to go further so that she can be like Amuor Pach, or maybe to hold a position higher than this hero of hers. Wow! Anyier does not want to be ordinary. She is determined to join the group of women who will change their young country for the better.
Here’s the thing though – a few years back Anyier wanted to go to school and she fully expected that her father would see her eagerness to learn and would send her to school. However, as Anyier says in her own words, “…shockingly, he chose my younger brother to go to school and I was left behind with household chores.” This outcome is not unusual in her world. What made the difference for Anyier is that PESS offered her a scholarship so that she could stay in school. How can a parent turn that down, even a parent who might favor educating sons, rather than daughters? You see, most South Sudanese families are cash-strapped and have to choose.
I hope you grasp the significance – your support is helping Anyier prepare for future leadership. Would you like to support the Lion Group with Anyier as one of its members? You can become part of a support team who each give $35 per month to provide scholarship funds and after-school support for the Lions… and Anyier. She won’t forget it!
Daniel with Lion Group - South Sudanese Scholars