Your Old book is my New book in Sudan because we believe we can be the change
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail*
This wasn’t the case for me and a lot of other girls here in Sudan, for a generation that things were different we came to school while the war between north and south was still on, witness days when my parents were government employee working for more than 10 years hardly can afford a three girls and a boy education, we asked about other girls we used to go to school together they didn’t join us in high school they say they prefer to get married but we knew that they can’t afford school cost.
We once talked to women from east of Sudan that when we are trying to design program for out of school girls at what age they drop school and why the answer was spooking for me a girl which going to school was the default that girls at 9 year which is at most grad 3 leave school to get married i didn’t know which is worth girls marriage or the fact that she lost her chance for better life and different future for coming generation.
Girls education in Sudan started in 1907 with the first civil girl’s school build by Babiker Badri the pioneer in women education before that most of girls education was limited on religious based education. Sudan in compare of the Neighboring countries is one of the first countries to sign the International Child Convention (1986), but efforts to make this rights reality is poor with more than half of the national budget goes to military and security leaving the education in the button of the budget items. If the country development rate is low and women facing different barriers which make them the second as citizen in benefiting from development we the story is different for them when it come to education.
Investing in education is the main gate to develop or beloved country, this was once highlighted when we talked to Nuba Women group they stated that the school schedule in their area was changed by the government without considering that the new timing make school in rainy season where schools building is just trees and local materials ceiling that can’t protect from rain, and that most of the students help their family in the farming during raining seasons.
Women in most parts of the Sudan doesn’t have access to high schools as women are not allowed to travel alone and schools are not enough in number but even in the places where schools are available as in my city the lack of confident in women as role model to encourage girls to pursue feature education is one of the factors that i believe that young women need to see hear and interact with empowered women to give them the role model to look and motivate them to follow their steps.
I once had a conversation with one of my friends she take education at least how to read and right as as granted and when we talked about numbers, statistics and facts the image was different for her, I think we need to share this as the education is not a government issue and as a lot of different organization, institutes and even individuals contribute in it so the fact that we need to know where we stand is urgent and integral part of improving the statues of girls education.
Being part of young voluntary based group "Education without boarders **" that are working on education issue and trying to activate community to work on solving education problem and making it matter to everyone we know that more efforts need to be done to highlight the issue of education and that it is not just a governmental role but even communities have to take share in making education an urgent matter. One of the issues that kept being raised is the parallel education and need to integrate the out of school girls into life skills education to enable them to be empowered women and productive citizens.
As I still remember that I had good chance to study and my family support was key in reaching this stage, I dream of an environment where every girl have the right to attend school and promoting this goal and pushing for this agenda in keen for me and other that we share same dreams.