South Sudan: A Refugee Mother, Wife, Teacher, and Student

08 May 2018|Rashidah McCoy

Fellow JRS teacher-training scholarship recipient, Evelyn, holds Nakio’s new born daughter as they pose for a picture in front of their classroom at Mikese University in Yambio, South Sudan. (Rashidah McCoy/Jesuit Refugee Service)

Nakio is a student at Mikese University in Yambio, South Sudan. She is currently in her third-year of schooling to receive her Bachelor of Arts in Education. Each day is a little different for her as she balances being a full-time mother, wife, teacher, and student.

Through the JRS teacher-training scholarship with Mikese University, Nakio is learning classroom management, early childhood development, and how to adjust the curriculum to different learning levels and styles for students. “Because I have started to see the changes, I’m sure after my graduation from Mikese University I will help change the education standard here in South Sudan”, says Nakio. “…I will help adjust the standards of the curriculum and learning to help the students understand better.”

As a mother, the education of future generations means a lot to Nakio and how she educates her children- within and outside the classroom. The balance of being a mom and teaching children each day can be challenging, Nakio said as she discusses her work-life balance. “I’m doing this because I don’t want others behind me to suffer the same way or go the same route as me…I want them to be knowledgeable.”

As a nurturing mother, caring for children comes naturally and with ease for Nakio. Each morning she wakes her children up early and prepares to send them off to school. Then, she returns to get herself ready to travel to the primary school where she teaches eighty or mores students with the bare minimum of resources. During the evenings, she attends classes at Mikese University.

Having the support of her family, school cohort, and JRS has helped Nakio not give up on her lifelong dream of being a teacher like her grandfather. Her determination is one that continues to inspire her children and the children she teaches each day.