|It was a great joy and privilege for me to visit again the Solidarity Teacher Training College in Yambio after a gap of twelve years. When I first visited in 2011, the Institute was in its early days and while it had clearly established itself and was doing very well, it was still a relatively small College.
Now in 2023, the Institute has developed quite significantly. I was struck by the many new facilities such as a small simple chapel, an excellent library (said to be one of the best in South Sudan!) and IT room with up to date computers for each student, new dormitories, classrooms and offices. All of these situated in well cared for grounds.
However my greatest delight was my encounter with the students and staff. Hearing the students speak of the importance of Solidarity values such as respect for diversity in a country which is so divided, the emphasis they put on leadership qualities such as simplicity, care, patience along with courage, vision and determination lifted my heart with the hope that this country would one day find peace and stability. We can only trust that these well trained professionals will educate South Sudan’s youth in a holistic manner and offer the much needed leadership based on justice and the rights of all members of the state. Their simple creative morning prayer based on the Gospel of the day was inspiring. Students danced, clapped and sang their hearts out as they prayed!
I also had the opportunity to meet with the Solidarity staff and the South Sudanese tutors, some of whom are former graduates of the Institute, having been given a scholarship to do further studies in Nairobi. Clearly the standard of teaching is remarkable and no stone is left unturned to ensure that all progress to the best of their abilities. Led by an inspirational Principle, Brother Chris and assisted by highly professional staff, the Institute seems to be to be going from strength to strength.
One can only hope that these educational opportunities provided by Solidarity will make a difference to the next generation and contribute in some way to helping these beautiful people live together in peace and mutual respect. I end my visit feeling deeply grateful for this precious experience.
Suor Katherine O’Flynn, FCJ
03 July 2023
Sr Katherine, Solidarity Board Member
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