By Moses Gum Degur

Girls Education South Sudan-GESS Team Leader urged parents to refrain from negative socio-cultural attitudes and send their daughters to school.

The team leader made these remarks while show casing a first pioneering film created by South Sudanese girls on the International Day of the Girl Child to raise awareness on impacts of girl education in the country at Juba Girls Secondary School.

On Wednesday South Sudan joined the rest of the world to commemorate the International Day of the Girl Child that is annually celebrated every year on the 11th October by girls who are powerful source of strength and creativity.

Speaking at the celebration GESS Team Leader, Akuja Mading de Garang urged parents to stop negative vices that girls are not good to be in school.

“We are today creating awareness to our communities to break barriers preventing girls to get access to education. Girls are behind in terms of education and literacy. They are behind because of negative practices that girls should not be educated,” she said.

Akuja said she believed that educating girls is the best way to lift families and communities out of poverty and will put South Sudan on the track of sustained development.

She said GESS will maintain its position to create awareness and support young girls in South Sudan to pursue their studies to become future leaders.

The Team Leader said a pioneering trio films created by South Sudanese girls produced by the UK aid funded Girls Education South Sudan programme was launched in New York as part of a lesson to address key challenges hindering girls’ child education in the country.

She said the film is to create awareness to the public as it touches themes of displacement, early marriage and pregnancy and financial poverty, among other barriers which delayed education of girls.

Akuja De Garang said she is proud to say that South Sudanese girls are progressing in education and literacy since most of them are able to compose poems and make films.

The young talented girls were inspired by GESS support and made a film entitle “Poni’s Journey”. This film will be screened at the flagship event “Girls Speak Out” at the United Nations in New York with the purpose to end negative cultures against girl child education.

“ Poni’s Journey, touches the theme of displacement and directly links into the objective of this year’s event to bring global attention to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during and after crisis,”, Akuja said.

The team leader alleged that the ongoing conflict in South Sudan has had profound impact upon education of girls with most of them becoming subject to negative socio-cultural attitudes towards their education.

Akuja pointed out that the girls’ “personal experiences and challenges in accessing education served as the inspiration for each story, adding that film is a powerful medium to raise awareness to the community to highlight issues that South Sudanese girls are facing”.

“With these challenges we shall continue to provide incentives to girls as motivation, engage communities to send their daughters to school and support local teachers with training for children to have access to education daily”, she added.

Abul Monica, a Senior Four student at Dr. John Garang Memorial in Juba said she is inspired by the support of GESS through Cash Transfer to enable her continue with studies.

She said education is good since it changes life, make her meet different persons and transform members of the community into useful people.

Monica said she believes in education as the only tool to end poverty.

Daisy Nyanuer, a Senior One Student at Future Secondary school in POCs said that education make you meet the people you have never met before.

She said even though her education was disrupted by the 2013 crisis, she will continue to do her best to achieve her goal.

Nyanuer expressed that studying in POC camp is not easy since there are no enough teaching materials as well as poor learning environment.

“Life is not good in POC. Life is difficult. No support for your needs. Sometimes conflict may erupt within the camp and can disrupt studies,” she said.

Nyanuer said through the support from GESS and other partners, she is still doing her best to meet her career of objectives.

GESS with support from UK government is providing capitation grants to schools for renovation and pay volunteer teachers as well as giving cash to girls to support their education.