Tag Archives: Windle Trust

Mayol and Salid

Mayol’s story

Mayol, 22, fled his village in South Sudan in 2013 to escape civil war. He now lives in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, one of the largest refugee camps in the world.

Mayol attends Kakuma Secondary School where, together with a friend, he runs the school library, filled with books from Book Aid International. As a refugee, Mayol cannot attend school outside the camp or move beyond the immediate town of Kakuma so his opportunities are limited. He sees education and books as a means to change his life for the better and one day return to South Sudan. This is his story:

 

Mayol
Mayol

 

“I was born in South Sudan in 1995, but there was a war in 2005 and my father was killed. After that, I lived with my mother but in March 2013, war arrived again in our village at night. We heard the sound of the bullets buzzing around people and killing was everywhere. So I ran away and my mum ran too.

I spent two days walking in the forest alone. I met a Sudanese soldier and he said ‘Where are you going?’ and I said ‘I don’t know where I am going. I just ran and lost my mum.’ So he took me to the UN and they brought me here, to Kakuma Refugee Camp. Now I am a refugee.  Up to now, my mum doesn’t know where I am. I don’t know, maybe she was killed. She was running with the small kids – but I don’t know what happened to them.

 

A typical street in Kakuma

 

The life here in Kakuma is very hard – the camp is very overpopulated and we only receive three kilos of rations a month, but we just remain here in the camp because we have nowhere to go and we have no right to move away. We appreciate the UN agency because it has protected our lives. If it was not there, maybe we could have been killed. So because of this kindness we are here.

 

Kakuma Secondary School
Mayol (left) and Salid (right) outside their school

 

But I do not have very many opportunities unless I do my best, finish school and perform very well – that’s when you find a job and you earn your living yourself.  Here in the camp there are so many challenges that are facing us – especially on the topic of the books. One textbook is given to 10 students – and my school is comprised of 3,000 students.

 

Mayol and Salid
Salid (left) and Mayol (right) look through books outside their school library

 

Myself and my friend Salid have been selected to be in charge of the library here at our school. The library is too small for all the pupils to use the books at one time, so we give out the books and after one week we collect them and give them to another class. The books that we have in the library – they’re good but we need more! Especially revision books and commercial books so that you can make a business – and novels! There are only a few and when we give them out, they are not enough, they are so useful to have. To learn English, students need to read enough books – a lot of novels. So that when he reads novels widely, he can improve his English grammar – things will be simple.

 

Reading outside the library
Studying outside with library books

 

If we don’t have books in school it will bring challenges. Some of the books, like novels, give us the knowledge to improve our English, while others – such as the revision books – give us a guideline to understand things easily. Therefore when we don’t have such books, it brings weakness to ourselves. If we end up with a poor grade it will affect us for the rest of our lives. Wherever you go, you will not get a job because you have weak grades. You will never work in the office. When you have enough revision books and novels, you can at least try your best to utilise them so you can perform well in all your subjects.

The thing that makes me stay here and keep going is that I believe in myself. If God keeps me alive I can study well and do the best that I can to change my life. Now I have the opportunity to study for free, so I need to utilise this chance that God gave me so that I can change this life and so that when I go back to Sudan, I can bring peace. I must work hard so that I can fulfil that promise that I made to Sudan.”

We are proud to have provided many of the books that fill Mayol’s school library with the support of People’s Postcode Lottery. We thank players for their ongoing support in helping us reach people with the books they need to change their lives. 

 

Mayol and Salid

Remembering our Patron – using books to get back home

His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh was our Patron for 55 years. He was a great reader who believed in the power of books, so this week we are remembering him by sharing stories of people who used books to change their lives.

Mayol, 22, fled his village in South Sudan in 2013 to escape civil war. He now lives in Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya, one of the largest refugee camps in the world. He attends Kakuma Secondary School where, together with a friend, he runs the school library, filled with books from Book Aid International. Mayol sees education and books as a means to change his life for the better and one day return to South Sudan. This is his story:

 

Mayol
Mayol

 

“I was born in South Sudan in 1995, but there was a war in 2005 and my father was killed. After that, I lived with my mother but in March 2013, war arrived again in our village at night. We heard the sound of the bullets buzzing around people and killing was everywhere. So I ran away and my mum ran too.

I spent two days walking in the forest alone. I met a Sudanese soldier and he said ‘Where are you going?’ and I said ‘I don’t know where I am going. I just ran and lost my mum.’ So he took me to the UN and they brought me here, to Kakuma Refugee Camp. Now I am a refugee.  Up to now, my mum doesn’t know where I am. I don’t know, maybe she was killed. She was running with the small kids – but I don’t know what happened to them.

 

A typical street in Kakuma

 

The life here in Kakuma is very hard – the camp is very overpopulated and we only receive three kilos of rations a month, but we just remain here in the camp because we have nowhere to go and we have no right to move away. We appreciate the UN agency because it has protected our lives. If it was not there, maybe we could have been killed. So because of this kindness we are here.

 

Kakuma Secondary School
Mayol (left) and Salid (right) outside their school

 

But I do not have very many opportunities unless I do my best, finish school and perform very well – that’s when you find a job and you earn your living yourself.  Here in the camp there are so many challenges that are facing us – especially on the topic of the books. One textbook is given to 10 students – and my school is comprised of 3,000 students.

 

Mayol and Salid
Salid (left) and Mayol (right) look through books outside their school library

 

Myself and my friend Salid have been selected to be in charge of the library here at our school. The library is too small for all the pupils to use the books at one time, so we give out the books and after one week we collect them and give them to another class. The books that we have in the library – they’re good but we need more! Especially revision books and commercial books so that you can make a business – and novels! There are only a few and when we give them out, they are not enough, they are so useful to have. To learn English, students need to read enough books – a lot of novels. So that when he reads novels widely, he can improve his English grammar – things will be simple.

 

Reading outside the library
Studying outside with library books

 

If we don’t have books in school it will bring challenges. Some of the books, like novels, give us the knowledge to improve our English, while others – such as the revision books – give us a guideline to understand things easily. Therefore when we don’t have such books, it brings weakness to ourselves. If we end up with a poor grade it will affect us for the rest of our lives. Wherever you go, you will not get a job because you have weak grades. You will never work in the office. When you have enough revision books and novels, you can at least try your best to utilise them so you can perform well in all your subjects.

The thing that makes me stay here and keep going is that I believe in myself.

If God keeps me alive I can study well and do the best that I can to change my life. Now I have the opportunity to study for free, so I need to utilise this chance that God gave me so that I can change this life and so that when I go back to Sudan, I can bring peace. I must work hard so that I can fulfil that promise that I made to Sudan.

We are proud to have provided many of the books that fill Mayol’s school library via our partner Windle Trust Kenya. We believe that everyone should have access to books that will enrich, improve and change their lives, whatever their circumstances. 

 

Young readers

New project in Kakuma Refugee Camp to support education of 17,000 children

It’s Refugee Week and we are delighted to announce the launch of a brand new project in Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya: Reading for All, in partnership with Lutheran World Federation and Windle Trust International – Kenya.

The project aims to support the education of at least 17,000 children and young people who attend school in the camp by providing Classroom Book Boxes filled with brand new books and training teachers in how to bring those books to life and encourage reading.

 

Kakuma classroom
Young learners in Kakuma Refugee Camp will soon be enjoying new books from their Classroom Book Boxes

185,859 people live in Kakuma refugee camp in Northern Kenya, 36,596 of whom are under the age of 18. They cannot leave the camp without special permission, so their opportunities to learn and work towards a more secure future are severely limited. In the camp, schools are hugely overcrowded and have very few books. Over 100 learners often share a single teacher and only a few tattered textbooks.

 

Kakuma school library
Books will also be used to replenish the book stores of secondary schools in the camp

The project is now underway in Kakuma, with teachers from 26 primary school and early childhood centres taking part in a three day training this week. A further training of 60 secondary school teachers will take place in September.

We look forward to bringing you more updates about the project over the coming months.

We would like to say a special thank you to players of People’s Postcode Lottery for their support of Reading for All: Kakuma and making it possible for us to bring books to 17,000 young refugees.

Reading for all: Kakuma is just one part of our work with refugees around the world. Find out more using the links below.

Twenty more individuals are forcibly displaced every minute and each of them needs access to books which can help them continue an interrupted education, escape the day to day challenges of camp life and imagine a brighter future.