Friday December 4, 2009
Opani Rose (right) reading with a classmate.
Today she is a girl who has perfect attendance for Africa ELI activities. She has faithfully attended classes at school. She has overcome her shyness and learned to speak up. She now looks directly at her intended audience when talking and advises other students to do the same. This is a goal for all of our Africa ELI students. Speaking directly is a life-skill we emphasize.
Recently, I was chatting with some of our students about the upcoming presidential elections in Sudan. I posed the question, “do you think a young man could successfully become a legislator if the elders in his community believed him to be too young?” Opani replied, “Excuse me, madam. It does not matter if you are young or old, tall or short, thin or fat, black or white. If you are qualified, then you can be a leader.”
Opani is a shining example of the emerging new leaders for Southern Sudan. She is a young woman ready to stand up and speak out about important matters in life. If she were running for an office, she would get my vote.