Traveling 7 Hours a Day for a Salesian Education

Publication Date: 
January 18, 2013

Rebecca is a student at the Don Bosco Senior Secondary School in Gumbo, South Sudan. She shows up every day at 8:30 a.m. with an enthusiastic attitude and an eager desire to learn. You would never know that she’s been up since 4 a.m. and spent the past three hours traveling to school.

Rebecca in front of the school

That’s because Rebecca is grateful for the opportunity to gain a Salesian education. She knows it’s her ticket out of poverty, and it will give her the ability to help provide for her needy family as well.

When her alarm clock rings well before sunrise, Rebecca is the first of the 22 people living in the three-room house to get up in the morning. She takes a quick bath, sweeps the house, prepares tea for her cousin and packs her bag for school.

No breakfast. No coffee to jumpstart her day. And no worries about what to wear as she slips into the same Salesian school uniform each day.

She must leave the house by 5:30 a.m. to catch the first of three buses that will take her close to her destination. But she must still walk the final mile to the school.

When school is over, it’s too late for the buses. So she must walk the entire 9.3 miles back home. For Rebecca, the youngest of 5 siblings, it’s all worth it.

“I don’t have a father,” she says. “So I come to school to educate myself and provide for my family later on. I want to have a good future.”

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