￼ Girls call for quality education
By Jacob Bol Mayar.
The majority of schoolgirls in Jonglei State called for quality education to enable them to study well in school.
AyenRhoda said that she was sad as her dreams were hidden behind the doomed curtains of some negative cultural beliefs until Child-Bride Solidarity (CBS), a non-profit organization based in Jonglei State rolled back the curtains and allowed her and over five hundred other girls to see beyond than just what the environment around them could offer.
“The international with the support from Safer World and Care Canada, Child-Bride Solidarity through its Resourcing Change and Women Voices projects embarked on programs to empower adolescent girls and young women in Jonglei State. In our society, the most important thing is for a girl to finish senior four. Once you are done, you will end up getting married. If your age mates are married, people in the community will pressure you to also get married complaining that you are getting old” Ayen said.
Elizabeth Akuot, Coordinator for Child-Bride Solidarity said that some negative cultural beliefs coupled with the socioeconomic environment in the area have been hampering the growth of young girls in terms of education.
“Our socioeconomic has really made this early child marriage to be high. That is why we have decided as Child-Bride Solidarity to end it. We have our little sisters. They don’t have a voice to say what they need in life. They don’t have the right to choose what they want. But when we mentor them and coach them, they will be able to be bold to say what they want in life”
Nyajuok Simon, Program officer said that the empowerment for school girls included raising girls’ confidence from shying away when biological changes in their bodies begin to appear. She said the cultural setup of local communities prevents girls from speaking things like menstruation freely which quite often makes many girls in Jonglei State not attend school regularly.
“We brought boys together with the girls in order to break the silence and allow them (boys and girls) to talk freely about things that they don’t understand each other. This helps in building trust and knowing areas where they as students can support one another”, Nyajuok explained.
Joh Mach Leek, a chief from Anyidi said learning about the advantages of girl child education has equipped him with some reasonable points that she is able to confidently share with members of his community and even in local churches as a way to join advocacy for Girls Child Education.
Ayak Deng Chaw said that early child and forced marriages have existed in the community for a very long time. But since leaders like her were not enlightened about the dangers of early childhood and forced marriage, she didn’t know how to advocate against them.
“Now, as leaders, we have been empowered to talk freely with confidence any time anywhere whether to condemn the acts or to speak publicly against child marriage and forced marriages”, she concluded.