Student writing the answers in an outdoor classroom
Good News from South Sudan!
At present, I (Br. Bill Firman, FSC) am visiting our Solidarity Teacher Training (STTC) in Yambio, South Sudan. This place really is a good news story!
The 111 students are studying to be primary school teachers. They begin the day with a joyful gathering to pray for peace.
There is a real mix of ethnicity. There are students from 14 different groups including 20 Dinka, 20 Zande, 8 Nuer, 12 Lango, 5 Balanda and 33 from the Nuba Mountains region (21 of whom are Tira). The tutors are also from different countries and congregations. There are two Irish Sisters, members of different congregations, and likewise two from the USA. There is also a male, lay volunteer from the USA. There are three Brothers from three different congregations – one each from Nigeria, Ghana and Uganda. The Principal, Sr Margaret Scott, is from New Zealand. Another Sister, from yet another congregation, is from India. I am visiting – from a fourth, different congregation of Brothers and, yes, from yet another country, Australia.
Can there be unity with such diversity?
Edmund Burke once wrote:
‘Example is the school of mankind and they will learn at no other?’
So what are the student teachers here learning? Here are some of the comments from members of the class that will graduate at the end of this year. I believe our STTC is creating really good news.
‘ I would be grateful to work at STTC Yambio because I like the way Solidarity people live with one another – in peace as brothers and sisters’
‘I have gained knowledge and skills on how to handle children myself as teacher. I have also gained confidence in myself in whatever thing I am doing’
‘I have learned how to keep peace within the community we are living in, seeing the example from the staff of Solidarity. All the time they are happy and love all the students.’
‘It is all about people. My most valuable experiences weren’t academic. They were all about people – social skills, respect, self-worth and empathy’.
South Sudan Needs Your Help
The South Sudan conflict continues to threaten the lives of many innocent people. With your generousity, you can make a difference. Please consider making a tax deductible donation in support of Solidarity peacebuilding initiatives. To help the people suffering in South Sudan, please visit: https://www.solidarityfriends.org/donate/