COVID-19 cannot stop us from studying and pursuing our dreams
“My greatest joy was returning back to school without worrying about the virus”, says Enas.
The 15-year-old primary 5 girl said she was scared of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We were not allowed close contact with people, even shake hands which is our way of greeting people. The number of deaths I hear from reports frightened me as well”, she says.
Enas was relieved when support came. “World Vision provided us with hand washing facilities in the school, bars of soap, and face masks. An awareness session was also conducted to teach us of preventive measures in dealing with the virus”, Enas adds.
Funded by Irish Aid, World Vision’s education project provides children with learning materials, their classrooms rehabilitated, and dignity kits were distributed to adolescent girls.
To promote quality learning, a capacity building program for teachers were initiated and their incentives supported. The parents, through Parents-Teachers Association (PTA), were also involved by strengthening their skills.
“We were advised to avoid crowded places, wash our hands regularly with clean water and soap, never share materials, wear face mask, and avoid shaking hands with our friends”, she further shares.
We were not allowed close contact with people, even shake hands which is our traditional way of greeting people.
She added that social distancing was also observed but that the classrooms are not enough for the learning program.
Teacher Akuol says, “We appreciate World Vision for providing us with the training and prevention materials. It made learning for children easy as we continue to encourage pupils to observe measures to avoid the spread of the virus.”
Yak, 20-year-old in primary six said it was challenging for him to cope with the pandemic. His family left the town for the village. “My parents want us to avoid the pandemic fearing it was spreading rapidly in town compared to the village”, Yak shares.
It took three months for Yak to return to school. “My fears were lifted because of the preventive measures introduced in school. I want to become a doctor”, he shares.
Frank Lomoro, World Vision’s Education Technical Manager says, “The teachers we support are trained on the Ministry of Education curriculum. The learning materials and dignity kits we provide will hopefully inspire children to be in school.
Lomoro further added that the robust education campaigns in the communities are aimed to strengthen the children's courage to achieve their dreams.
Related story: Let's create more learning opportunities for girls in South Sudan
Story and photos by Ajak Ayuel, Education Assistant, Irish Aid Project