Suku, 16, lives in Southern Sudan. She is the oldest of five siblings. During the civil war, which ended in 2005, she was sent to live with her uncle since her father was in the army and her mother did not have a job that could support her.
Fleeing early marriage
Suku was adamant about getting an education and was in secondary school, quite an accomplishment for a girl in Southern Sudan. Then one day, the uncle tried to force Suku to get married to a person she didn't even know. In Southern Sudan, the family of the groom must pay a "bride price" to the bride's family, and it is typically a large amount of livestock, including cows.
When Suku refused to obey her uncle he beat her. She fled and went back home to live with her mother where she continued to go to school. She also became the chairperson for an advocacy group to promote girls' education and raise public awareness on girls' rights and the value of an education. The group, which included boys as well, does regular media interviews and stages public theatre.
Her dream is to go to university to become a lawyer in order to continue the fight for girls' rights in Southern Sudan. The country has entered a time of rebuilding and hope for the future fills her heart.
Spread the word.