Talata Evers, South Sudan
“Educating a girl is educating a nation”
Talata is Sudanese but conflict in her country has meant that she spent 13 years of her life as a refugee in Uganda. Even before attending UWC Talata was a dedicated volunteer and saw great value in helping others; whilst still at school she spent time educating young people about landmine risks with the Mine Advisory Group and also volunteered with the Equatoria Women Association.
Studying at UWC has given Talata many more opportunities to continue volunteering and helping others. Most fittingly she decided to spend much of her time at UWC in Mostar working at a refugee camp in the town, helping people who had been displaced from their home by conflict. “Through extracurricular activities at UWC like working with refugee camps in Mostar, craft workshop and recycling activities, I was able to understand what it means to work towards the happiness of other people, how to save our planet and how to be creative” Talata explains.
The diverse student community that Talata experienced at UWC has inspired her to continue in her efforts to make a positive social difference. “At UWC I was able to go to class with students from different parts of the world and with different backgrounds” Talata explains. “This gave me an opportunity to learn about other cultures through events such as cultural weeks. The shared learning and experiences I had with students from different countries helped changed my perspective on the world. I learned that there are people who care and are ready to support, dedicate and sacrifice their time and resources to help improve the lives of other people. I had never experienced this in my earlier schooling.”
UWC has changed Talata’s life, giving her chances and opportunities that would have otherwise been out of reach for her. “UWC has opened doors for me that I would never have got in my life. Through UWC I was able to understand the idea that hard work pays. Before I finished my UWC final exams, I got a full scholarship to Methodist University in North Carolina. This is a wonderful opportunity that has made me more optimistic about my future, my family, my fellow Sudanese and African citizens and humanity itself. I believe that nothing is impossible if we as youth work together in solving the pressing issues of our time. UWC has made me dream big.”
“The Sudanese perception of young females is an issue that I would like to address after I graduate” says Talata. “Girls are often looked at by their parents as economic assets in the family, not as individuals who deserve an education. This leads to many girls not being motivated to go to school.”
“I believe that not only the girls in my country but all girls around the world should be given the same educational opportunities like me. World governments and international organisations should invest in education for young females. Educating a girl is educating a nation.”