News from Rumbek
Loreto girls shining beyond school
In south Sudan, women have limited chances in holding higher positions and in the building of the nation. This is because women are accorded limited participation in most fields of work. Additionally, only a few women have the required skills to take up these limited opportunities.
Despite this situation, we encourage our Loreto-Rumbek students to be self-driven and live in the spirit of our founder, Mary Ward that in time to come, women will do much. All students are mentored and encouraged to grow intellectually, spiritually and socially so as to contribute to the building of the nation.
Besides academics, school activities like beauty contests have helped Loreto students boost their self-esteem. It is from such activity that girls take home the courage and interest to involve peers from their communities to participate in beauty pageants. These platforms also serve as avenues for peace building as many people come together and our students pass to them messages of peace.
According to Alexandra Ayen, “In my community, most young men and women lack knowledge about beauty pageants and thus lack courage to express their talents. Participation in Loreto beauty contests has helped me take to my community the ideas I learn from Loreto. I’ve been able to enlighten people from my community and boost self-esteem and courage in many girls and young women. It was an honour when some girls asked me how a young woman would be that courageous and I felt so proud of my school. Since many people had gathered, it was also a way of preaching peace to the community and I believe what can change me changes my people and country too.”
Alexandra explains this after participating in beauty contests held outside school over the 2019 December holiday. Loreto secondary students and graduates participated, emerging as winners in the various three states. Sandra Amiok emerged as Ms. Rumbek, while Sabah Mohamed and Alexandra Ayen were crowned Ms. Tonj and Ms. Yirol respectively.
Student participants were appreciated with various gift and lots of praise. This served as a wakeup call that girl child education is very key. Parents thus play a paramount role and should take up responsibilities to settle the plights that befall women.
Monicah Yier happily explains, “I got many gifts from different people. Most important I got a surprise gift from my dad and I felt so much encouraged. Most of the girls will have the opportunity to understand that their education is the most paramount and fundamental right that will help them to withstand and conquer the difficulties they entangle in the society.”
These forums enlighten, transform and empower the women and girls to do more in the society. Girls are able to show their interests and thus gain the support they need from parents and the society.
Monica Amook explains, “I like standing out and bring out the best in me without giving up. It is a good opportunity to encourage those who aren’t willing to sit on their talents. My parents were also very supportive and this contributed to my victory. It also created awareness to parents in Rumbek that they should believe in girls and encourage parents to support girl child education just as they support boys too. This support is crucial as it protects girls from serious challenges they face today, for instance forced/early marriages.”
We hope that these contests will continue to help women fulfil their ambitions and develop important national and regional pride.