Young people tipped on importance of education

Young people have been tipped on a range of activities aimed at building their advocacy skills and ensuring that they stay in school.

The advice was given a training organised by the Education Above All (EAA) Foundation whose mission is to raise awareness and build the capacity of youth on the need to acquire an education.

The training comes after a series of reports that a number of young people, especially girls, are unable to attend school as a result of conflict and tension in their communities.

Pascaline Aburi Albino, an advocate from South Sudan, noted that the continued conflict in her country has had a negative effect on the education of youth and children for fear of being kidnapped, maimed, killed, and/or recruited into forced rebellion.

She cited cultural practices in her pastoral community as a major factor hampering girl child education, where girls are seen as a source of wealth for a family, not by being educated and productive, but through being married off in exchange for cows.

“The girls in my community have no voice and choice on whom they want to spend the rest of their lives with. A rich man will approach the family anytime to ask for your hand in marriage and for the youngest girls they will have no option,” Aburi said.

In Sudan, sporadic violence has continued to impact education according to the latest ‘Education Under Attack’ report issued by the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack.

The report cited at least ten reports of attacks on schools between 2020-2021 and an additional 26 schools being used as shelters by displaced persons resulting in significant damage to their infrastructure and facilities.

Hellen Korobe, another youth peacekeeper from Karamoja region, revealed that growing up in the pastoral community has made her understand that most parents don’t see education for girls as necessary.

“While the boys are busy being given the job of looking after cows, the girls are raised to become wives and mothers at an early age. There is less meaning to the value of education imposed by this old-aged culture,” Hellen said.

“There are many ways to communicate, and art has not been fully exploited to send a global call for action. We feel with these messages we’ll be reaching out to policymakers and opinion leaders in a medium that is geared towards reframing their imaginations and action for the sake of the youth,” said Kenneth Mulinde, a visual artist and a youth advocate.

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