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South Sudan students' high school dreams

February 18, 2011

See how South Sudan's first vocational and technical skills school is helping former child soldiers and other young people to turn their lives around.

The recent referendum in South Sudan is part of a peace deal that ended a 22-year civil war between the north and the south, a conflict in which at least 20,000 children fought. Supported by Plan, the Juba Technical High School provides 150 marginalized young people with training in skills from building to mechanics.

For Khamis, aged 20, the school is helping him rebuild his life. "I was a soldier. I was very young - around 14 years. The life was too miserable - you could spend some days without food," he says. "My hope is to at least finish university level and to gain some more skills so that I could work in a very good place. I know everything is going to be possible. I am not scared of the future."

The school is also helping girls like Gloria, aged 18, to overcome gender stereotypes and fulfil their dreams. "I have taken the part of auto mechanic. It is the first time to get a lady in auto mechanics in this secondary school. It's the first time," she says proudly.

Read more about the Plan-supported Juba Technical High School.