News from Rumbek

Antoneta – a future doctor

Aciek Antoneta joined Loreto Girls Secondary School in 2017, finished her Senior Four studies in 2021, and graduated from the Internship programme in 2023.
Antoneta is the third born in her family and the second daughter. Her father has two wives and is the sole provider for them. Her father was an advocate for education, and so was her grandfather.

Her father was the oldest in his family, so his decision to pursue education was respected – which Antoneta was happy about! She has two uncles who originally were not so happy about educating girls, but after witnessing Loreto’s impact on Antoneta and her sister in Senior Two, they have opted to take their daughters to school!

Antoneta’s journey at Loreto has been a transformative one. She describes the school as a “safe haven for girls,” A place that has nurtured her spiritually and socially and where she has blossomed into a mature and independent young woman.

Aciek Antoneta

Antoneta said, “Education is not just in class, but through activities you learn as well.” The school provides opportunities for students through clubs. For example, as a peace club member, she had the opportunity to visit villages, an orphanage, and a hospital. She learned that if you can do something small for somebody, you can bring joy.

She believes that the Internship program is where she has seen the most impact on herself. The experience has taught her about the real working world, enabled her to think critically, and allowed her to apply the knowledge she has learned in school. She studied computers, and the Internship Programme opened a lot of doors for her.

Regarding the impact on the community, Antoneta outlined how people in town see the Loreto girls as proud. South Sudan is a place where women do not speak up, so when Loreto girls speak up, they are often seen as hot-headed. She says,

We are fighting for what is right…Loreto is home, a place of change”.

She believes that through her example, others will follow her example towards education. The way she treats her family and how she behaves and interacts with community members all contribute to changing their beliefs on girls’ education. They know that she has not forgotten where she has come from nor become arrogant.

Now, Antoneta is studying medicine in Nairobi and hopes to become a doctor. She really wants to help South Sudan, where there is a lack of medically qualified people. She has fears and worries about whether or not she will be a good doctor, but she believes that these fears may be her strength!

This work would simply not be possible without financial support. We are very grateful to all those who believe in our mission and support our work, particularly in relation to educating and empowering girls and women. If you would like to help us assist more women like Antoneta, please click onto our online donation page.

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