• Heather Taylor

The first generation of a nation

The beginnings of a new nation are marked with many hopes and also growing pains. South Sudan is the world’s youngest country, celebrating its eighth birthday this July. It is filled with eager students who are the first generation to be growing up as independent South Sudanese citizens. Tabitha is determined to become a doctor and serve her community.

Committed to working in the 'hard places', our charity partner TEAR Australia is partnering with ACROSS, a local Christian organisation, is helping students reach their goals through a program that improves the quality of education delivered through government schools.

Recognising that the government school system are struggling in rural areas, ACROSS has been equipping schools with teacher training and support, gender awareness training, water and sanitation facilities. They also train volunteers to become ‘school mothers’ who encourage school attendance and support students’ wellbeing – essential when families traditionally need boys to tend cattle and girls to help grow food.

It’s making a clear difference to Tabitha’s eagerness to achieve. Every night when her chores are finished – the dishes washed, the grain pounded, water collected, and the younger children settled – Tabitha pulls out her homework books and completes her work by torchlight. With such dedication, she finds the work achievable, even in the midst of busy family life.

With ACROSS also working in her community to improve health outcomes and food production, as well as address entrenched conflict after decades of war and civil conflict, Tabitha and her family can hope for a life that is peaceful and secure.

Tabitha and her family

This is one of many projects that TEAR Australia supports through their local partnership approach. Funds raised in Australia by the row will go to projects such as these.