News from Rumbek

Loreto Women presented: Priscilla

This month we celebrated the 16th anniversary of our secondary school. More than 400 young women have successfully graduated from the school since we began. That means 16 years full of successes and setbacks, learning, celebrating and living together. The stories of these young women are so impressive and touching that we would like to share a few of them with you over the next 12 months. Let us surprise and impress you.

Priscilla is a graduate of Loreto Girls Secondary School in Rumbek, South Sudan

She now works as the Administrative Assistant for the school, as well as being the Human Resource Manager for the local workers in the Loreto compound.

She has four brothers and four sisters. Her father introduced her and her siblings to education. She is the first girl among her sisters to complete university. Her fourteen-year-old sister was married off by her uncles during the war, while her father was in Khartoum.

She joined Loreto Girls Secondary School in 2010 and when she completed her studies there, she began a Degree in Administration and Secretarial Studies in St Lawrence University in Kampala. Her brother-in-law paid her school fees and her mother and her elder sister supported her. She graduated in 2017 and came to work in Loreto in 2020.

She believes that “If Loreto was not there, I wouldn’t have gotten a quality education or perhaps I would have been married young.  I was very lucky.”  She said Loreto taught her many things: how to stand up for herself, how to know what is right and wrong, and that girls and boys are equal. The culture in South Sudan maintains that women should be submissive, and not educated.

“As girls, we were afraid until we came to Loreto. It made us who we are.”

Loreto also gave her a job and now that she is working, she can provide for other family members. They have seen the change in Priscilla and so have helped their own daughters to be educated. Her eldest sister’s son and daughter are in school and her husband supports it. Loreto has a ripple effect!

At a community level, when people see ‘Loreto girls,’ they want their daughters to be like them. Many women argue with their husbands and uncles to allow their girls to be educated.

Loreto has also enabled many changes for the women in the community according to Priscilla – for example the provision of bore holes, resourcing of vegetable gardens, and encouraging empowerment of women. Priscilla says, “We should follow Sister’s footsteps. I have learnt a lot from Sister. It is a blessing.”

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 support us to assist more women, like Priscilla, please visit our online donation page.

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