Martina's Story

This is Martina

This is Martina, nothing will defeat her

At Juba University, Martina, a young student, arrives early at the side door of the lecture theatre. Usually it's standing room only and she wants to get a seat in her undergraduate class.

Born in Eastern Equatoria, with no father living, Martina was displaced by war as a young child, ending up in the barren settlements in the wasteland outside Khartoum.

She struggled to gain entry into a secondary school where she saw a notice on the board advertising support offered by Together for Sudan without any religious discrimination for displaced women.

Martina was determined and after a rigorous interview, she emerged as one of our students.

Her university moved back to Juba as South Sudan became independent in 2011 and Martina moved again. She now lives with her grandmother in a basic room outside the city and despite many interruptions she is continuing to study public administration.

Recently we met Martina with her hand on that Juba side door which will lead her to a brighter future. Nothing will defeat her.

Women's Education Partnership, as we are now called, has supported 261 other girls over the last 15 years at universities and vocational colleges, all disadvantaged women, many from the Nuba Mountains.

Martina was just one of the many remarkable people Alan Goulty, Lillian Craig Harris, Penny and I met on our April visit to Khartoum and Juba. We have seen first-hand some of our literacy, eye care and HIV/Aids projects in operation and listened to the women so that in our planning for projects we can act on what they tell us to do. We have also had very joyful meetings with our scholars studying in Khartoum and Juba . Often having to struggle, they are working really hard to study so that they can find jobs and play a full part in the peaceful and healthy development of Sudan and South Sudan.

Thank you for your support and encouragement. There is much more we can do with your help.