I met Puoth in late 2011 while working in Malakal, South Sudan. Of the many wonderfully kind and welcoming people I met on that trip, Puoth always stood out in my mind as someone with genuine kindness and curiosity. We fell out of touch over the years but, thankfully, he tracked me down a couple months ago. He was recently accepted to Mount Kenya University and hopes to move from Kakuma Refugee Camp in northwest Kenya to the university in Thika, outside of Nairobi for the semester beginning in September. Puoth had the costs for his education covered until late last year when his sponsor was killed by the South Sudanese Army. I want to ensure that the violence and unrest in South Sudan do not prevent Puoth from attending university and realizing his potential.
I'll let Puoth tell you his story.
My Name is Puoth Pal Wel. I was born in 1991 in Nasir, Upper Nile State, South Sudan. My father was a Sudanese People's Liberation Army soldier and was killed by the Sudanese Army during the war in 1994 when I was 4 years old.
I started my education in Nasir Wathwar Primary School in 2001 and continued primary school after moving to Malakal in 2010 where I met with Danny and his friend and colleague, Juanis. In 2012, I sat for my South Sudan Primary Certificate in Good Shepherd Primary School.
That same year, I went back to Nasir for short holiday. During my return to Malakal, I was involved in a very terrible accident, which broke my leg. I was sent to Juba Teaching Hospital for treatment but, unfortunately, it was beyond their control. My cousin decided to send me to Nairobi for treatment. In November 2012, I was admitted to Nairobi Hospital where I got treatment. They repaired my leg very well.
In May 2013, I started at Brightstar High School. Three years later, I sat for KCSE (Kenya Certificate for Secondary Educations) exam, where I scored a grade of C+ with 52 points, which is a university-level grade.
In January 2017, I applied to Mount Kenya University in Thika, Kenya. Thankfully, they admitted me for the semester beginning September 2017 for the Accounting and Finance degree program. The program will take 4 years. I want to be an account manager in a bank or possibly work for the Ministry of Finance in South Sudan.
I am writing this autobiography because I need help. I have nobody who can afford to pay my university fees. My sponsor and friend, Mr. Peter Pur Nienkel, who was going to pay my expenses, was killed by the South Sudan Army in December of 2016 on the border of Congo and South Sudan, while he was trying to escape the violence. After his murder, I had no place to stay. I decided to go to the UN compound in Juba, South Sudan. They brought me to Kakuma Refugee Camp in northeastern Kenya, where I am now.
I wish this situation cannot kill my dream since my dream is to help my community and those suffering in South Sudan. Please help me.
THANK FOR UNDERSTANDING MAY GOD BLESS YOU.
Hello, Danny here again. Thank you for reading Puoth's story. Pretty incredible, huh?
So, down to business. The fees for Puoth's first year at university are as follows:
Tuition and supplies: $450 USD per trimester
Rent: $100 USD per month
Food and spending money: $400 USD per month
Statutory Fees: $ 120 USD per year
Total: $7,470 ($2,000 by September 1, 2017)
Friends, I appreciate your attention and your consideration. I know this number seems high, but just compare that to the cost of a western education and you can see how attainable this is. Puoth has miles of potential and helping him realize this dream, to help both his future and the future of his people, is an important and worthy goal. Thank you for your generosity. Any and every amount helps. We can make a difference.
With love and gratitude,
- Danny McCarthy
- Norah Brown
- Melissa Fogal
- Nancy Tiller
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