Miss South Sudan Ajah Kiir.[Photo| Hot in Juba]
By Peter Lokale Nakimangole
TORIT, 02 February 2016 [Gurtong] – Miss World South Sudan, Ms. Ajak Kiir is campaigning against early child marriage in the country.
While addressing those who attended the ground breaking ceremony of a maternity ward in Torit referral Hospital last week, Ms Ajak said that girls must be given the opportunity to access quality education.
“I want to talk about early marriage. In our country South Sudan, early marriage is the biggest problem facing the progress of young girls. It is very common that parents think that if a girl is married off, they will get [wealth] dowry.”
Ajak said that communities in South Sudan need to be sensitized on the importance of education adding that education will contribute towards breaking the cycle of poverty for generations to come.
“If they could send the girls to school, they would in the future get good jobs after their studies and will even bring more money to the parents them off for dowry. Why don’t parents just take girls to school to earn them a better future? South Sudanese parents are making a serious mistake,” she expressed.
“Concentrating in sending girls to school would earn more wealth than forcing them in early marriages," expressed Akak.
Married young, girls are frequently taken out of school, are at a higher risk of HIV Infection, early pregnancy and health conditions such as obstetric fistula.
"We are not focusing on the present but the future of the girls. If they go to school it opens opportunities for their future. There are many opportunities for these girls only if they go to school. South Sudan at large will have a better future.”