When the Teacher Becomes the Student: Serving a Desperately Understaffed School

African Sisters Education Collaborative (ASEC)

Sr. Lucy Chemutai Yego's new role as a school bursar was a challenge until she began ASEC's SLDI finance program.

When Sr. Lucy arrived at the school she was eager to help mold young minds, but she never imagined that, in the end, it was her mind that would be molded.

When Sr. Lucy Chemutai Yego from the Assumption Sisters of Eldoret (ASE) congregation began her mission work as a high school teacher she was excited to be given the opportunity to help shape the lives of South Sudan’s youth. However, she had no idea that her life would be shaped in the most extraordinary way.

Since conflict broke out in South Sudan in December 2013, the country’s already fragile education system began to deteriorate. Sr. Lucy saw the deterioration first hand when she had to take on multiple roles in the school.

“The school was so understaffed that I had to chip in as store keeper and at the same time making sure that my lessons are taught,” said Sr. Lucy.

However, the biggest challenge that Sr. Lucy faced was when the school’s bursar fell sick and was called back to his congregation. When the school became desperate to find a person to fill in Sr. Lucy stepped into the role.

“I had no knowledge of finances, records and many other needs in line with the bursar office but I had to be up the task,” said Sr. Lucy.

Sr. Lucy struggled in her new role; however, she kept going because of the deep love and dedication she had for the students of the school. She knew the only way she would be able to continue her work was to become a student herself.

The opportunity rose for Sr. Lucy to enroll in ASEC’s Sisters Leadership Development Initiative (SLDI) finance program. There she was able to learn skills including recording financial actions through excel sheets to help keep track of petty cash and trial balance.

“This knowledge helped me immensely,” said Sr. Lucy. “This program not only gave me the tools to further help my students but also gave me the confidence to continue my work.”

To help ensure the financial stability of the school, Sr. Lucy has used her newfound skill in project proposal writing she began a resource mobilization initiative. Sr. Lucy said she believes none of this would have been possible without the education she received from ASEC.

“God bless all the benefactors of ASEC,” said Sr. Lucy. “Without their support I would never have been able to transition into my new position.”

Sisters need skills and training to succeed

Because there's such a high demand for their service, it's common for African sisters to be assigned to positions that they don't have the education to succeed in. You can be a ray of hope for a sister who needs vital training in order to carry out her important work.

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This article is addressing the following UN Sustainable Development Goal(s):

Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning
Sr. Lucy Chemutai Yego, ASE

Sr. Lucy Chemutai Yego, ASE
Profiled in article
SLDI Participant, Finance Track - SouthSudan  

Briana Ryan

Briana Ryan
ASEC Web Content Intern, 2018-19 - USA  

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