Girl’s Empowerment in South Sudan

by | Mar 15, 2024

Reading Time: 3 minutes

“Girls have the potential to achieve anything they set their minds to. Let’s work together to create a world where all girls aspire to dream big.”

– Unicef

Training Up Young Leaders

Our recent trip to South Sudan was designed to train and equip our local leadership team. We had the pleasure of meeting with Fiona, our Girl’s Empowerment Program Specialist. Fiona’s role is to understand and identify the struggles and opportunities for girls and young women in their local communities and train and equip them for the future.

Pictured above is our Executive Director, Linda Noah leading our Girls Empowerment Training on the trip.

Fiona's Story

Before joining Petros Network in 2022, Fiona volunteered with the Red Cross, helping children who suffered from abuse and illegal marriages. She understands the hardships these girls face and is committed to their education—often walking 30 minutes or more to train them and be a positive part of their lives. She loves her job with Petros Network and enjoys teaching these girls.

A typical week for Fiona includes walking or taking a motorcycle to different girls’ groups throughout the area. Right now, she teaches over 115 girls in three different areas, including a community group, a school, and a church. Her goal is to expand the program to reach over 500 girls in the area. Her focus is to educate these girls on taking care of their bodies as they develop into young ladies. As they talk about these important and relevant subjects, the girls also learn how to stay safe and protect themselves. This is especially important as there are many young girls married by the age of 14-15 years old. Girls between 9-15 are very vulnerable and susceptible to being exploited if they don’t have the proper knowledge, community infrastructure, and education.

Girl's Empowerment Program

Petros Network’s Girls Empowerment program is working to stop the cycle of poverty and child marriages practiced in the villages we serve.

On our trip we had the opportunity to see Fiona in action as she met with a group of girls under a thatched arbor adjacent to one the churches we planted. For 60 minutes, these young girls were captivated and quiet as Fiona taught, took a singing break, and finished the lesson. They were so happy to be there. Watching these girls learn, and seeing the potential they have, makes us feel so grateful that we get to be a part of changing their lives.

Pictured above is Fiona and a group of giddy girls who are receiving feminine hygiene kits for the first time!

Sharing the Joy and Hope For a Better Future

Fiona shared with us the joy she experiences as she observes the lives of these young girls change with access to education and a better understanding of their rights and options. Initially, many of the girls were shy and embarrassed, but every week, she observes the transformation in their spirits and the hope they have for a better future.

Three more schools are waiting for her to start this same program, and her desire over the next year is to train mothers and caregivers on nutrition and breastfeeding. She has a big job ahead of her. She is hoping to train and reach over 1000 participants in these programs.

What You Can Do to Help

We asked her what the needs were, and she said water, feminine hygiene kits, and modesty wraps for when they start their cycle and aren’t prepared. All very humble requests.

We’re very happy to say that we brought over 200 Days for Girls feminine hygiene kits made by Latricia Strange and an incredible group of women in the Portland Metro area. These were well-received! The girls were so grateful for them!

Pictured above is one of our superstar volunteers, Latricia standing next to the hundreds of feminine hygiene kits she put together.

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