What Happens when You Invest in Girls’ Education in South Sudan?

Published June 30, 2018

One Woman Makes a Difference

Deborah Awut Mayom, an educated South Sudanese woman from Rumbeck is pioneering a new generation of educated women. She’s shifting the climate of conflict by using her business to make investments back into her community.

As a college educated, business owner, Deborah exemplifies what is possible when South Sudanese girls are given education. Raised by a father devoted to giving all nine of his children equal opportunity to education, Deborah attended both primary and secondary school alongside her brothers and sisters. Her secondary school imparticular, Hope for Humanity, Inc., is focused on investing in education for girls and boys with an emphasis on educating future leaders of South Sudan.

Deborah went on to obtain her Bachelors in Commerce with a concentration in Accounting from the Catholic University of East Africa becoming a role model for girls within her community. As an advocate for literacy in her community, both in terms of English and the native tongues of South Sudan, she works to teach Dinka with other parishioners in her church. She also encourages girls’ in traditional Dinka Dancing.



Deborah now runs a business with her sister selling handcrafted, bead-based bags that she designs herself. They also do embroidery on bedsheets, a special type of art that can be found in almost all South Sudanese homes. Carrying on her father’s prioritization of education, all profit made from her business is used to support her nine siblings in school fees and living expenses.


Deborah, far right, does hair in her shop where she and her sister make bags and other wares.

Deborah, far right, does hair in her shop where she and her sister make bags and other wares.


Education allowed Deborah to become a sustainable success: she can now provide for herself and support the young girls in her family to go to school. She also is in a position to inspire a new generation of educated girls in her community as a School Administrator at her own secondary school in Rumbeck (in addition to running her business). Deborah’s story affirms that girls’ education leads to economic advantage for women. In a country devastated by conflict and rivalries the hope is for Jalle girls who receive education to make the same kind of contributions to their communities and families.

Support Women and Girls in South Sudan

Katie Rivers was so moved by Deborah’s work both as an entrepreneur and an artist, that she made a large order of bags. Our team brought back the bags to give as gifts. By becoming a monthly donor, you will receive one of Deborah’s beautifully crafted bags symbolizing her educational journey and the journeys of women to come. We’re excited that we could support Deborah’s business and say thank you with her beautiful bags to donors who are investing in education for girls in Jalle.

The Local Vision for Girls’ Education in South Sudan

By donating to the school in Jalle, you participate in allowing more girls to follow the path Deborah was afforded through education. This is something that Jalle leaders have envisioned for their own girls for more than a decade. It’s one of the core reasons that our school project began and is why we work to ensure spaces to women in our teacher training workshops.

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