Wednesday Oct 11th – International Day of the Girl 2023
International Day of the Girl was a great success in Nimule, South Sudan, despite the absence of other NGOs that had previously participated in the event. The schools and the community still engaged in a meaningful, lively, and colorful day. DROP provided t-shirts to representatives from all eleven primary schools in Nimule Central Boma, including those schools that we are not supporting, so that those children did not feel left out. The event began with the annual parade, where all the local school children marched through Nimule town and ended at St. Patrick Primary School, where the celebration was held.
An Enthusiastic Response- Though a Little Too Enthusiastic
The afternoon was filled with speeches from students, stakeholders, local leaders, chiefs, and parents. DROP has made it a priority to engage the chiefs and parents in activities like this, as well as in our community outreach campaigns to encourage parents to send their children to school. One chief said during his speech that he would arrest any parent who did not send their children to school. However, the Inspector of Schools quickly corrected that statement in his speech by pointing out that there are many reasons parents keep their children home from school. He said that you cannot arrest people who are sleeping hungry because there is no food, much less school fees. He also emphasized the reality that you cannot compare a very young country like South Sudan to its neighbor Uganda, which just celebrated 61 years of independence, growth, and progress.
Some Drama – But The Good Kind
The afternoon’s performances by the school children also echoed the Inspector’s statement, with one group performing a drama about hunger in the country, during which the children all shed real tears. There were also dramas about early marriage. One included the potential bride saying that she needed to stay in school so she could become eligible for a DROP secondary scholarship. But the entertainment was not all heavy and serious. There were also beautiful poems, heartfelt songs, and lively traditional tribal dances that kept the event exciting and engaging. Overall, the afternoon was a poignant reminder that the country is young and has many challenges, but also that the way to a brighter future is through the youth, and educating girls is a major step toward progress.