Southern Sudan: Key to a better future
13 November 2009

Many children in Southern Sudan would do anything to get access to education. (Angela Hellmuth/JRS)
By crushing stones and selling them, I raised money to pay school fees, buy a school uniform and scholastic materials.
Kajo Keji, 13 November 2009 – In April 2004, less than a year before a peace accord ended the 22-years civil war in Sudan, I left the refugee settlement in Adjumani District, northern Uganda and headed for my home village in Kajo Keji County, Southern Sudan. I was accompanied by my grandmother who has been my guardian since my parents together with other refugees were abducted by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA). I do not know if they are still alive. 

After travelling about 75 km on foot and spending the night near the border, I arrived in Kajo Keji where I managed to continue my primary education. By crushing stones and selling them, I raised money to pay school fees, buy a school uniform and scholastic materials. Three years later, I passed the leaving examinations with good results but I discontinued my education because I had no funds.

While buying groceries I caught sight of the JRS office. I told them that I would like to continue my education because it is like a substitute for my parents. I felt that having access to education would help me stop missing them. In February 2008, I was granted a scholarship and I am now attending the second year at secondary school.

I am grateful for the support I have received because I know that the knowledge and skills I obtain at school will improve my life. Once I complete my secondary education, my future will offer much better perspectives than before. 

In Kajo Keji many children in politically and economically vulnerable situations, some of them infected with HIV/AIDS have no access to education and are engaged in petty businesses or child labour. Others become victims of gender based violence or are neglected. Through the scholarship programme JRS helps them get access to education and to set their eyes on the future.