I wasn’t always appreciative of my education. The seemingly endless string of tests and papers often seemed like torture devices inflicted by teachers and professors that I simply had to withstand in order to get into college or get a job. When I got to college, however, that all changed.
I became involved in the anti-genocide movement on the George Washington University campus and learned a lot about places like Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This work introduced me to the Banaa Sudan Educational Empowerment Network, which changed my perspective on education. I became a student leader in Banaa and worked with others to provide full scholarships to American universities and other support for students from Sudan and South Sudan. I came into contact with current scholars who are incredibly passionate, intelligent and remarkable individuals committed to returning to their countries and using their knowledge to resolve the economic and social issues that they face. I have learned that supporting education is an investment in people. No other kind of aid has the ability to snowball so greatly as, once educated, people teach one another and are able to use their skills not once, as physical or monetary support provides, but again and again for years and generations.
Working with Banaa has taught me about the importance of education; it is what changes the world. Education is the first step to treating disease, building roads, starting businesses, and writing and speaking to spread the word. I have seen firsthand how education helps people to grow and enables them to improve their world. I am proud to be able to use my own education to help provide educations for students both in America with Banaa and now on the ground in Tanzania as part of the Achieve in Africa team.
– Haley Aubuchon
Achieve in Africa Intern