Chad: education for the strength of women

08 March 2019

Noura studies with her baby beside her. (Sergi Camara)
Noura studies with her baby beside her. (Sergi Camara)

Am Nabak – Noura el Houda is a young mother who fled Sudan as a child and became a refugee. She now lives in the Am Nabak camp in Chad, where she attends a school run by the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS). She has 16 brothers and sisters, and her family’s finances are strained. Their lack of means is a major obstacle for her and her sisters’ education. Noura has considered getting married so she would be less of a burden to her family and could support the education of her siblings.

Noura recently became pregnant. As a single mother, she was stigmatized by her community and her own family, who wanted to prevent her from going to school, to avoid public shame.

I got pregnant and it was a problem for me, I wanted to continue going to school.
Noura el Houda, JRS Chad Student

At Noura’s request, JRS spoke with her family to communicate the importance of education, and the difference it could make for her and her child’s future. Noura wants to continue her studies and to attend university one day. She works hard to care for her baby and maintains good academic marks.

Even if everything is against me and the circumstances are not good, I decided to go back to school. I will continue and fight to go to university. I dream of becoming a doctor so I can go back to the camp and help my community.
Noura el Houda, JRS Chad Student

“I hope my [perseverance] can help my family keep their heads up.” Noura decided not to accept her situation, and she continues to go to school, despite being a young mother. She wants to be an example of courage and wants to make her family proud. JRS works to make school a place where education is a source for pride and protection for girls and recognized as a weapon to fight against vulnerability and inequality.

Explore More