Minister for Africa Harriet Baldwin was on BBC Woman's Hour today, recounting her recent visit to South Sudan where she saw how UK aid is used not only to stave off hunger in the ongoing conflict, but also to educate girls and keep them in school for longer. She cites the powerful statistic that for every additional year of education a girl receives, that girl's average earnings as an adult increase by 12 percent, benefiting not only herself but her children.
It has always been FIGS' position not to wait for peace before educating girls in South Sudan, but to start to make a difference now. Open since 2014, Ibba Girls Boarding School today has 191 girl students, who between them have so far received a combined 412 years of education. We aim to expand by one cohort of 40 new students each year until 2022, and then to see each girl student of the full 360 enrolled at the school receive nine years of education, attaining their school certificate at age 18, for decades to come.
FIGS is also proud to have been invited to take part in the next phase of the Girls' Education in South Sudan programme, which Harriet mentions. We look forward to showing, in practical ways, what can be achieved in South Sudan, so that the next generation of girls has a better future.
(Listen to Harriet Baldwin MP speak about her experiences in South Sudan on BBC's Woman Hour today, from 25:31-32:39.)