Rebecca’s story, South Sudan

by oxfamcanada | March 5, 2015
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Make It Happen:
Stories From south sudan

Rebecca’s story

“Getting an education is my number one priority”
Rebecca Elija – 18 years old, displaced in Melut

Rebecca Elija was 10 years old when she last spoke to her mother. Eight years ago, Rebecca moved to South Sudan with her father and little sister, leaving the rest of the family in Khartoum, Sudan. When the conflict broke out in December 2013, the three of them fled to Melut. Although she has been in part of the displaced community in Melut for over a year, Rebecca has not lost sight of her dreams.

“I am always thinking about how peace can come and how soon it can come”

“I wanted to be a doctor but the crisis happened and forced us to move from our homes and postpone our dreams. An experience like this forces you to grow up. When we arrived here, I was surprised when I realised that I had to be in charge and take responsibility for myself and my family.

I’ve made friends here and we have discussions about personal issues, but no one ever mentions the new responsibilities they have. It’s painful to bring it up because no one is really helping, no one is sending money, and it feels like nothing will change. I try and have discussions with people about the current situation and the possibility of peace, but I don’t force anyone to listen. If they want to talk, it’s good, if not, it’s alright with me too. I am always ready to laugh, to listen to a good joke or tell one.

I am always thinking about how peace can come and how soon it can come, so that I can go back home. Here, no one persuades you to go to school, like they did at home, but getting an education is my number one priority.”
Rebecca benefits from the clean water Oxfam provides to over 20,000 people in Melut. In addition, she is one of the many people who received fuel efficient stoves from Oxfam. These stoves use a third less fuel than the open fire stoves used before, save money and reduce the frequency of risks faced when people have to gather firewood.

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