“School mothers” in South Sudan are keeping girls in school

“School mothers” in South Sudan are keeping girls in school

  July 15, 2016 12:39 am
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Written in collaboration with SAFAIDS and UNESCO as part of efforts to train journalists on comprehensive sexuality education

South Sudan has faced decades of conflict, which has been severely detrimental to the lives of millions of young people in the country. With limited capacity in both education and health provision, the number of young people excluded from education levitra vs viagra price is immense, with as many as 59% of primary school age children out of school. Girls in particular face the worst in education access – in some communities, less than 5% of the female population are completing education. A huge proportion of girls dropping out (65%) can be attributed to teenage pregnancy and child marriages.

The Africa Educational Trust (AET), an international non-profit organization, has developed a unique initiative that addresses challenges girls are facing in dropping out of school, called the School Mother Initiative. School mothers, who become female role models in rural communities across the country, are provided with specific training in counselling, community mobilisation, child rights and advocacy, in addition to specific health needs for girls, including making sanitary pads using locally available materials.

The initiative has found that these school mothers have helped girls discuss issues, including sexuality more comfortably and openly, but have also acted as role models, encouraging girls to continue their studies. They are kamagra cialis france able to meet specific and unique needs and challenges facing girls, including their learning styles and personal safety and are key advocates to local authorities, parent teacher organizations and communities.

The initiative has over 100 school mothers in 100 targeted schools in South Sudan. Nominated by the communities themselves, these women meet the girls on a weekly basis, counselling them on any issues that may need to be addressed. They also become a crucial link for girls and parents in accessing much-needed health services.

The programme has provided evidence that where school mothers are active, schools have reported having fewer girls dropping out of school to be married and few girls leaving school because of teenage pregnancy. It has also helped shift community’s thinking around girls’ rights and empowerment.

For more information, go to the Africa Educational Trust website


 
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