Peace through education

Peace through education

Jemimah Ruth Aarakit works as an education project manager for Adventist Development and Relief Agency in South Sudan. The Christian NGO is working in 19 schools in Kapoeta state.

ADRA engages directly with the community through a methodology called REFLECT. The purpose of REFLECT is to empower communities to appreciate the importance of education as well as empowering community to participate in identifying their own problems and solutions.

Story and photos by Thorkild Jorgensen.

‘The indigenous people of Kapoeta are nomadic cattle keepers. Their sole livelihood depends on animal rearing and education is not a priority,’ Ruth says.

‘We take them through some basic literacy and numeracy classes in addition to other cross-cutting issues such as positive parenting, Child Protection, Peace education, Health and Nutrition, and a culture of savings where they have been able to form a village savings’ and loans’ association such that the individuals, their families and the entire community will benefit as a whole.’

'I’m glad to fly MAF because of the good services and prayers that makes me feel safe.' Jemimah Ruth Aarakit 

Too hungry to learn

Hunger causes many children in Kapoeta to drop out of school or never enroll in the first place. Many families – especially from Kapoeta – engage their children in petty trade, others end up sending their children to work in gold mines, while some children become beggars on the street, despite the availability of free school meals which ADRA provides in partnership with the World Food Programme.

The programme provides a basic school meal which includes sorghum or rice, beans, oil and salt prepared for the learners as a way to attract and retain children in school. The meal is served once a day during once classes are finished at lunchtime.

‘I left my family to come to South Sudan, because I am very passionate about humanitarian work.’ Jemimah Ruth Aarakit 

Faith compels me

‘I left my family to come to South Sudan, because I am very passionate about humanitarian work,’ Ruth says. ‘I think what drives me most is the humanitarian situation on the ground. I get so touched when I see people especially children suffering in situations where I feel I can show compassion to up lift them from that situation in order to change their lives to better.

'My faith in God compels me, because God did not create anyone with the intention of suffering. ADRA’s global slogan is ‘serving humanity so all may live as God intended’. I am dedicated to compassionately serve the distressed people!’ Ruth concludes.

I love to fly with MAF!

Ruth boarded the shuttle in Kapoeta to get a connecting flight to Nairobi from Juba. She was going home for R&R (Rest & Recreation) to be with her family.

'I tried to get a connection directly from Kapoeta to Nairobi, but it was not possible as I had to pass through our Juba office to connect to Nairobi,' she explains. 'I’m glad to fly MAF because of the good services and prayers that makes me feel safe when flying with MAF.'

'The pilots are very kind to the passengers and they have very good skills when flying. Thanks to MAF for opening a route to Chukudum where we operate as ADRA, with this route it makes our travels to and out of Chukudum easier. I love to fly with MAF and my return flight to the field will be by MAF!'

'My faith in God compels me, because God did not create anyone with the intention of suffering.' Jemimah Ruth Aarakit