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Jesuit Refugee Service affirmative action staff distribute sanitary kits to female students in Nimule, Southern Sudan. (Angela Hellmuth for Jesuit Refugee Service)

By Lindrio Rose Christine, 
Affirmative Action Coordinator, Nimule, JRS Southern Sudan

(Nimule, November 8, 2010) – During a three-day workshop in Nimule, Southern Sudan, Jesuit Refugee Service trained 20 women teachers from primary and secondary schools on guidance and counseling skills to help girls affected by sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) stay in school.

The workshop aimed at equipping women teachers in leadership positions with counseling techniques in order to help girls with issues such as early pregnancy and marriage, which are common reasons for them to drop out of school. With the knowledge gained teachers are expected to improve girls’ attendance at school and help reduce the rate of SGBV cases in the community. 

During the workshop teachers learned about their role in guiding and helping students and about human and children’s rights. They discussed the issue of discipline and correct behavior at school and practiced how to design a work plan and to write reports. Participants also had ample time to share their experiences. The workshop was facilitated by personnel from the reproductive health unit of Magwi County, a staff member of the American Refugee Council and three JRS staff members. Six male teachers also attended.

Help girls stay in school

"I will be able to utilize the knowledge and skills I gained during the workshop,” said Margaret, one of the participating teachers. "I am very grateful to JRS for carrying out such workshops for teachers,” said Lagu Pompeo, a teacher of Hai-Kanisa Primary School. "I consider it an initial step in implementing the advocacy goal to have 25 percent of the public sector in Southern Sudan be women," he added.

"Pass on what you have learned to the community so that we reduce the rate of girls dropping out of school," said Lodi Francis, Education Supervisor of Nimule sub-county. 

"I encourage you to put into action what you have learned in order to help girls succeed at school and to empower more women in Southern Sudan," Lindrio Rose Christine, JRS Affirmative Action Coordinator, told participants at the end of the workshop.  

JRS has worked in Nimule since 1997 supporting 25 primary and three secondary schools, training teachers and rebuilding school infrastructure. 

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