South Sudan: Our lives in school and future dreams
11 March 2013

A group of children in a makeshift structure that is used as a classroom in Maban County, South Sudan. (Mercy Muchai/JRS)
We carry wooden chairs from home because our classes do not have chairs. The wooden chairs are heavy and we get tired by the time we arrive in school.
Yambio, 11 March 2013 - Our names are Jane* and Mary*, studying in primary eight at St Mary's primary school. We like this school because it is good and has teachers who teach us well in class.

We wake up very early in the morning to come to school because it's far from home. We do not like to come late to school otherwise we will be punished by our teachers. We carry wooden chairs from home because our classes do not have chairs. The wooden chairs are heavy and we get tired by the time we arrive in school.

We like the school because we are getting knowledge from our teachers in orderto better our lives. We are working hard to pass our examination to be able join senior one next year even if we have problems. We have a problem of books in our school and it is only the teacher who has a book to teach us. We read the notes given by our teachers. We will be happy if we had books to read at home. Our parents are poor and cannot buy books for us. We have also problems in paying school fees. The Head teacher forces us to go back home when we have not paid all the school fees. Our friends sometimes avoid coming to school because of schools fees and chairs. When you do not have a chair you sit on the floor or on a brick. It's very painful when you sit on it for the whole day.

The boys in the school like to disturb us. They like calling us bad names and sometimes pinch us in class. Our teachers are good, when we report to them about the boys' bad behaviour, they beat them. We want to be in a boarding school where there are no boys. We will be very happy and able to study well.

We wish to finish primary eight and join senior one. Our hope is to reach university and become lawyers. After we finish I will be able to help our sisters and our parents. We hope our dream comes true.

*Names have been changed to protect their identities

Compiled by Hezekiah Ronald Ombiro, JRS Yambio Project.

JRS South Sudan focuses on the provision of education and school support, peace building and reconciliation and pastoral work. During 2011 more than 45,500 people directly benefited from JRS activities in Central Equatoria State - South Sudan.