|Nidal Yusuf, 20 years old is from the Nuba Mountains.
At the college, she seems to be everywhere, either studying or busy talking to the many friends she seems to have made. She is currently in Level 1. She is constantly smiling and keen to do her best in class.
“My father passed away when I was only 8 years old and so my mother has been supporting my brother, sister and I as much as she can through primary and secondary school. She is only a small farmer.”
Due to insecurity and lack of proper schools, Nidal and her older brother had left the Nuba Mountains for Yei, a city in South Sudan’s southwest, close to the Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo borders. Again, due to fighting, she and her brother had to flee Yei for Juba, the capital city of South Sudan. While in Juba, her brother helped her to apply for Solidarity Training Teachers College, which she joined after passing an entry exam. While at the school, her brother passed away leaving her on her own, yet he used to support her financially for her basic needs. She worries a lot about her situation and the fact that she will not be able buy such things as sanitary pads, soap and other things she needs. “The girls have been really good to me here at school. So far, they share their lotion, sanitary towels and other things we also sit together and share our problems.
Another thing that has helped me to calm down was the trauma healing workshop where we were taught how to deal with stress, headaches, lack of concentration and such things. For example, if I am stressed and need to concentrate on reading, I used the head tapping technique, which calms me down after some time plus I am also able to remember things much easier. It really works for me.” “At STTC, I have learned so much that I never imagined that I would ever learn for example the use of teaching aids when teaching in class; how to counsel anyone who is having trouble; how to teach by interacting with students and making the class lively instead of just giving them notes on the chalkboard and I also met people from all over South Sudan. Now, we have the opportunity to make our lives better than that of our ancestors and we will be able to teach the younger generations so that their lives are much better than ours.”
THIS STORY IS SIGNIFICANT BECAUSE the Solidarity Teachers Training College has provided a learning environment where people from all over South Sudan can interact positively, an aspect that is important for promoting peace in South Sudan. Armed actors have forcibly recruited many youth and many have also had traumatic experiences. Through the trauma healing workshops, students get help with dealing with trauma, which then gives them a chance to concentrate on their studies, graduate and go back to their homes where they can be productive members of society.
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Descriptor: Rome Office
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