In 2007 I traveled to the growing town of Wudu in Kajo Keji, South Sudan to better understand the complex challenges facing women after 22 years of war. There I met with many inspiring men, women and youth who were engaged with peace building and reconstruction after the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. There are many serious problems and one that most parents and young people identified was the desire for sustainable education after so many years of classes disturbed by bombings, missed years of schooling due to displacement, and the loss of basic educational infrastructure because of the conflict.
These problems are heightened for young women, who have traditionally been encouraged to leave school early to assist in domestic responsibilities and to marry. In the post-war period things are changing.The community is increasingly keen to support young women's education past the age of 11 years old.
This project will fund the school fees and school materials of 10 particularly vulnerable and promising young girls selected by local community leader Reverand Athowan Kefa Kajo and local women's leader Ms Sarah Abeja to attend the new secondary school in this area. Through these scholarships they will be able to devote more of their time to school work and they will be supported in pursuing their education over the next 3 years.
As part of this scholarship, these young girls are trained as peer educators and are given the responsibility for encouraging other young women to stay in school; both through social and emotional support; and through their leadership in micro-financing project to raise tuition for other female students.