Student Stories: Josephine & Thiep

Education is fundamental in transforming any society. Education that is rooted in Biblical values is more effective in transforming a society for the better, which is SMARD’s approach.

Students Stories from Hope Secondary School-Lietnhom

132 students continue to receive essential secondary school education which is the foundation for the future of young people in the Gogrial East County(Lietnhom) and the surrounding counties. It provides hope for a better future for boys and girls who otherwise would have been without education and a better future and remain illiterate as their parents. We interviewed a few of students and below are their moving personal stories.

Meet Josephine

Meet Josephine Awien Akol, a 17 year old first year student at Hope Secondary School. Josephine’s father died when she was young and her mother has struggled greatly to provide even the very basics for her and her six siblings. Through the help of SMARD, Josephine has been the first among her family to attend school and is currently numbered among the ‘top ten’ students in academic performance. This young girl’s future is now full of hope and she aspires to be a doctor when she graduates.

We asked Josephine how she managed to go school. She responded

“I was taken by my uncle to stay with his family in Juba mainly to take care of their young baby. His children go to School every day and when the children come back home later they used to sing song in English Language and I don’t understand them since they speak in English. One day I decided to ask Uncle who brought me into his house. Why don’t you take me to the school like your children who use to go to the school? He told me no one to take care of the young baby and that is the reason I brought you here. I told him is it because I have lost my father that is why you are not sending me to school like your children so that I have a better life and future? I began to cry in front of him that day. I told him also that your children use to tell me that education is the key of life and you don’t want me to be in the school to have that life. Lastly, he took me to the school and warned me if I don’t perform well, he will take me back home and when I heard that I was happy said no problem I will do my best. I have struggled and have been in top ten from primary one up to primary eight. He supported my education until I completed my primary education last year 2017. Unfortunately, my uncle died in the beginning of 2018 and I was returned back to our home in Lietnhom. I became confused what to do again because the one who was after my education has died again in 2018. When I heard of Secondary School near my home I applied and was admitted. My mother struggle to pay my school fees but she has not cleared. The greatest threat to my education is paying school fee but I continue to trust God to help me. If Hope Secondary school was not there now, then I won’t continue with my study because my mother cannot afford to take care of my study far away since my uncle died but now my mother will be struggle for my study because it is near with our family.I want to become a Doctor one day to help my community if God help me to complete my education.”

Meet Thiep

Meet Thiep Madut Dhel who is another student of Hope Secondary School in Lietnhom. Thiep is 18 years old and in Form Two. He was born from a family of 6 siblings. Both parents are alive but 4 of his siblings have never attended school. Thiep said

”I am the last born in our family meanwhile Mother and the Father are all un-educated people. Among six children, three of them are girls and three of us are boys. Then five of them failed not to go to the School because school is far away. I talked to my parents and the elders’ brothers and sisters that I must go to school because we cannot miss education all in our family. My father said my son you are right and he allowed me to go to school. When I completed primary School, my father said you cannot go to Wau for education because I cannot afford tuition and housing in Wau as they are very expensive. Then I knew my hope of becoming an Engineer to build permanent houses in our community was over. I prayed to God to open a way for my education but was not sure how God will help me. Then Hope Secondary school was opened in 2017 in our community in Lietnhom and I said in my heart, God has answered my prayers! I Applied and was admitted in Form one in 2017 and I thank God that I am now studying in Form two. Hope Secondary School is keeping my hope alive!”

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