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For the past couple of months, Africa ELI students have been on their long school break, which runs from December until February. It is equivalent to summer vacation in the U.S. Some have used the time to earn money for personal needs or to help their families, while others have been reviewing school lessons from the past year. Many have been spending time reconnecting with friends and relatives living in the refugee camps.

Now that the beginning of the new school year is fast approaching, the students are enthusiastically sending questions our way: “When do we get to move into the dorm?” “Should I sign up for the Arts stream or the Science stream this year?” “Who will pick us up at the bus station?”

Can you hear the excitement and anticipation in their voices? Can you remember your own experiences of the first day of the new school year? Perhaps you organized your supplies in neat stacks and placed them perfectly in your backpack. Maybe you rushed around on that first morning looking for your shoes and socks. If you were beginning at a new school, as many of our students are this year, you may have felt nervous about not knowing your way around, or excited about making new friends.

We remind ourselves that even though Africa is on the other side of the world, and that the social and cultural differences are numerous and occasionally very sharp, some things are universal. One such thing is the excitement and anticipation felt by a child on her first day back to school.

With all of our love and support behind them, here’s to a great new school year for our ambitious students!


Our Mission 

By providing access to education, Africa ELI prepares young women in South Sudan to become leaders in their families and communities, engage in business enterprise, counteract inequalities, improve health practices, and work toward improving society for the benefit of all citizens.

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