News from Rumbek

A new building for better education

Today is a great day for Loreto Rumbek as we officially open our education centre. It is the first two-storey building in our compound, from whose gallery you can see half the school grounds and far beyond into the neighbouring villages. This is also where the students of this building come from – young men and women taking pre-vocational courses, such as English or computers. But teachers also come here every Saturday, often from far to improve their English or learn new teaching methods.

Another established and popular programme is the tailoring course. Our students and interns participate just as enthusiastically as women from the neighbourhood, as it is convenient when you can sew your new dress or repair your favourite skirt yourself. Perhaps, for some of them, it is also the first step towards self-employment.

Although the school compound administration has found a new, central location in this building, there is still plenty of room for new courses and people. The need for this is enormous—the number of adults who cannot read and write is still very high, at around 70%, and the opportunities for vocational preparation courses or even vocational training are very rare.

But today was the time to celebrate. In their speeches, the Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Hon. Stephen Mathiang and Chief Mangar honoured Loreto Rumbek for their continuous and successful efforts in education. The Minister of Education in Lakes, Hon. Nelson Makoi, gave his special appreciation to all teachers in this state. Poorly paid, they go to school day by day and serve their country by teaching the pupils. He promised that, in the coming year, he would provide more support for teachers. Many thanks were also expressed to the donors of the new centre, without whose generous support none of this would be possible.

In addition, we could present the graduates of the first courses with their certificates today. 41 young women and men have successfully completed the English course and 47 the computer courses. 34 teachers graduated from the teacher training course and received their certificates. Congratulations to all those graduates.

A celebration here is not a real celebration without dancing and eating. The graduates performed some dances, and students, interns and teachers cooked for the whole festive community.

We want to thank all those who helped make this day so great and, of course, a special thanks to our donors, without whose continuous support our work here would not be possible. We wish future students success with their training and hope they use their new knowledge and skills to build up this country and a peaceful and united society.

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