The following story was sent to us by Rev. Derrick Jones, who preached in our church on September 15. The story conveys a sense of the specific challenges to life in South Sudan. It also portrays the courage and initiative of the people living there. We are connected with the country of South Sudan through our Missionary Rev. Elly Kajaminyo.
“This is not the right work for girls. I will find a man to dig a pit latrine for the family when I return from the Cattle Camp”, said Jospina’s father. She kept quiet, until her father went away, then she dug the latrine with the help of her brothers.
Jospina Ayen Thon from Pacong, Rumbek East County, saw an ACROSS hygiene promoter digging a latrine at his house. She watched with her two younger brothers as the hygiene promoter dug the pit and then placed poles over the hole.
Jospina went home and told her father that digging a latrine was easy and she could do it, that she would also get some poles to cover the hole, just as the hygiene promoter had done.
Jospina’s father told her to wait. “This is not the right work for girls. I will find a man to dig a latrine for the family when I return from the cattle camp”, said her father. She kept quiet until her father was away at the cattle camp; then she dug the latrine with the help of her brothers. They put poles over the hole and even built the walls. When Jospina’s father returned, he was impressed with what they had done and thanked them, telling them they had done good work. He then said he would finish the latrine and bought two iron sheets for the roof. Now the latrine is complete and being used by the family.
Across was so impressed with Jospina’s story that she was given a bicycle in appreciation of her initiative and for being an example to other girls in the community. Now Jospina has become a hygiene promoter in the area.
“I have benefitted from WASH (water, agriculture, sanitation and health) by learning how to keep water safe, have a good sleeping place and how to prevent getting malaria”, says Jospina. Through this experience, Jospina has learned that women can do things that are considered too hard work for them, such as digging a latrine. Jospina is 15 yrs old and in Primary 6; she plans to become a health professional when she completes her secondary education, so she can help her community.