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Future Doctors for South Sudan Students

Meet Hellen

July 09, 2015 - South Sudan

My name is Hellen. I am a 25 year old girl, from South Sudan, Eastern Equatoria State. I am a first born in a family of 5 children. I was born in 1989 in a small village called Lafon, in Eastern Equatoria. I was raised by a single mom in Kakuma camp since my father died during war when we were so little. My life history like many of the South Sudanese my age is so sad.

I was only one year old when my father was recruited to the army; from there we had to leave my village for Torit, a nearby town because that was where my father was working as a soldier. Life there was hell on earth as my mom used to tell me, no proper food, no water and no nothing. About three years later, one night as we were preparing for bed, we heard gun shots. As usual the elders assumed, but the gun shots persisted and they came nearer and nearer. From there, my mom grabbed me and my younger sister, as we were running, I accidently fell from my mom’s hands but since the crowd was large, I could not find my mom. Fortunately there was my neighbor who was following us, she got hold of me and we had to run together. As young as I was, I can still remember the sounds of those guns, the pool of blood and the people who were lying dead. I then reunited with my mom and my sibling 3 days later.

About two weeks later, we reached a place Lokichogio that was in Kenya. That was the town where the refugees are received by UNHCR. We stayed there for about 2 days, then they took us to Kakuma Refugee Camp. Life in Kakuma was better than back home because there was free food, free school and free medical care. That was in the year 1995. I then enrolled in school, nursery school by then, then primary school.

When I was in primary 5, one of the priests from Nairobi came to our church, I was then a singer in the Sunday school and I presented a song that day. After the mass, he called me, asked about my name and my family. I told him everything, then he went and saw my mom. He told me mom that since I am performing well in school, he will take me to a boarding school so that I can finish school without any problem. Because by then in Kakuma camp, most of the girls my age were getting pregnant so easily and dropping out of school so frequently. He took me to a boarding school called St Bakhita Primary School where I finished my class in which I performed well. After that he brought me to Nairobi, Kenya for my high school but unfortunately he died when I was in form two. His death was the most deviating thing in my life; I didn’t know what to do. From there, the school paid for my school fees for the remaining two years.

After my high school, I went to South Sudan in 2009 where I worked with the Norwegian Church Aid as a health educator at my village. One morning in March 2011 as I was doing my routine job, I met a doctor; he came visiting in my village and he asked me about my dream. Then I told him. Then he told me that he can offer me a loan to go to university if I want to. I accepted eagerly because I wanted to pursue college preferably a medical course. So he offered to pay my fees for the diploma in clinical medicine on the agreement that I will pay him after I finish school. I then joined Mt Kenya University for diploma in clinical medicine in May 2011. I performed well in my diploma level, but I could not continue further because he is unable due to financial crisis.

I am still here today still chasing the dream of becoming a doctor. I really need your assistance not only for myself but for my nation South Sudan. I believe that South Sudan will be free from poverty, diseases, war and hunger if the current generation is given a chance to go to school.

Why I want to become a doctor and my commitment to work in South Sudan

My passion to become a doctor started in 1995 when I was only 6 years old in Kakuma camp. One day my mom went to fetch some water so I was left with my little sister. I was playing with her when she started vomiting and then she had diarrhea, she did that several times until she fell asleep. So I have to inform my neighbor who was going to the hospital. Since my mom was not around, she told me to go with her to the hospital so that my sister could get some treatment. She had to put my sister on my back. On the way to the hospital, my sister starting vomiting again, she continued like that until we reached. On our arrival at the hospital, the patients were so many and I was only seeing one nurse. We waited there until about 3 hours when I felt my sister getting cold. Few minutes later, the neighbor I came with told me that my sister is dead. I could not believe it because I was playing with her just some hours back. I cried and cried and wishing that there was a doctor who could have saved my sister’s life, she was the only friend I had.
From that moment, I swore to become a doctor someday to prevent the agony of preventable deaths. My sister probably died of dehydration which is treatable. I promised her that I will save the lives of the young ones as much as I can. I would like to become a pediatrician and built a hospital with her name in South Sudan if all goes well with me.

That is the reason why I want to become a doctor. I am committed to work in South Sudan because there are few doctors there currently with the large population. I want to be among the doctors who will eradicate most of the tropical diseases in South Sudan because as we speak, tropical diseases are the number one killers in my country.

My achievements and my career goals

I completed diploma in clinical medicine in 2014
I would like to specialize in pediatrics in the future, and to become one of the best doctors in South Sudan.

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