News from Rumbek

Loreto Rumbek students have cast their votes

The last few weeks have been busy. Speeches were written and delivered to applause; ballot papers were printed and lists prepared; points of view were explained and requests for improvements were discussed; and finally, the time came and the prefects were elected in both the Loreto Primary and Secondary Schools. There are prefects for almost everything here – for sport, liturgy, and time management, for the dormitories, as well as for the library. We have prefects for each class and of course for the school as a whole.

Without prefects, many things would not work here, but the most important thing is not the service or the organisation of school life, though both are necessary. It is much more than that. Being a prefect means developing a perspective for the future and convincingly communicating it to others. It means practising what it is like to be a leader and how to win the electorate to one’s own point of view. It means taking responsibility, initiating change, and leading the way.

Along the way, the pupils learn what a democratic election process looks like and how it works. This is an important experience, as elections are due this year in South Sudan, the first since independence in 2011.

Finally, last Sunday during the school Mass, the newly elected prefects said their pledges and received a blessing from all those present. Over the next few weeks, the new prefects will have time to learn from the previous ones what their duties entail, before the official handover occurs.

We want to say a big thank you to the former prefects for their great service and give thanks to all those who stood for election. We wish the newly elected prefects joy and blessing in their ministry.

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