Where we work in South Sudan, we rarely see children wearing uniforms. When we do, they are tattered and torn. So it didn’t take long for me to notice one particular girl who stood out from the others. She was neatly dressed in a clean, well-maintained school uniform from one of the large schools in town.
I didn’t inquire about her situation, but it was clear that she had to leave her good school in town and move to the village, where the attitude toward education is very different. But I was hopeful for her because she wasn’t giving up. Even with only a handful of students and one teacher at her school, she was putting that uniform on and heading there every day.
I know there are so many girls like her out there in these villages. There are children who do not yet understand the importance of education and may never have the opportunity to experience it. But then there are children like her who desperately want to attend school and cherish every opportunity to learn.
I left there wanting to help her, but I felt good knowing that there was now water at her school and felt confident that was part of the reason she was there. Even if I couldn’t give her anything else, the clean water would save her from walking miles each day, from being sick dozens of days this year and from missing out on an education.
I know what we’re doing is good. I know that we can do more.