Twic East Girls’ Scholarship Program (TEGSP) transforms the lives of disadvantaged girls living in refugee camps in eastern Africa via the gift of a good education.
TEGSP is a registered Australian charity led by South Sudanese Australian volunteers. Most of us are originally from the county of Twic East (on the Sudanese/Kenyan border) and grew up in Kakuma Refugee Camp after fleeing war in South Sudan as children.
We know it’s not a place where young people, and girls particularly, can thrive. We also know the impact education has had in our own lives after we were accepted to Australia as refugees, and want to pass on some of the opportunities we enjoy here, to girls still living there.
We currently sponsor 10 girls to study at boarding schools in Kitale, Kenya and Juba, South Sudan, assisting them to complete four years of secondary education at an approximate cost of AUD$1K per year. We think of the girls as our younger sisters, and are as proud of their successes as our own.
In 2021, several of our Year 12s won scholarships to Canadian universities. Other TEGSP alumni from earlier years are teachers in camps themselves, training as nurses and studying at African universities. This provides powerful proof of the ripple effects of TEGSP’s work.
We target the most academically gifted girls and also girls we know to be at imminent risk of early marriage and/or other dangers of camp life.
We position educated women and girls as vital agents of change with a critical role to play in delivering peace and prosperity to our countries.
We fundraise to pay for girls’ tuition, school and transport fees, plus a small allowance.
Recent UN data reveals that if all girls went to school for 12 years, it would add $92 billion per year to the economies of low and middle income countries. According to the report from World Bank every 1% increase in the number of women with a secondary education yields an increase of 0.3 percentage points in the country’s annual per capita income growth rate. Girl child education is a proven and time-honoured facilitator of economic growth and sustainable societies – it has myriad, intergenerational benefits and positive outcomes as limitless as the potential of girls.
We know educated citizens are more inclined to build and maintain clean energy infrastructures, show greater concern about the well being of the environment, water usage and recycle. It is through educating young girls like Greta Thunberg that has awakened the world to the importance of climate change. This reality is visible on the street climate campaign were young girls have been very instrumental in nudging us toward climate change action.
Educated girls are more likely to learn about hygiene and improved the overall sanitation of the nation leading to fewer diseases and reduced fatalities and improve the overall health of the country.
Educating girls leads to stronger institutions, better governance, the promotion of peace and justice and thus more peaceful societies with less war. UNESCO studies reveal that Increasing secondary school enrolment by just 10% decreases the risk of war by 3%.
TEGSP’s Australian-based volunteers are in constant contact with our cohort of young TEGSP scholars, the schools they’re at and their families back in the camps. We gather data and learn lessons via regular check ins online, and whenever a TEGSP Australian volunteer visits relatives in South Sudan and Kenya, they visit the girls too.
We also keep records on the girls’ academic progress and journeys post high school graduation. Highlights include:
TEGSP is a registered Australian charity led by South Sudanese Australian volunteers. Most of us are originally from the county of Twic East and grew up in Kakuma Refugee Camp after fleeing war in South Sudan as children.
The goal of TEGSP is to foster women empowerment and encourage development through Girl-child education. TEGSP is currently operating in all states and territories of Australia and is run by volunteers who offer to share their own Australian privileges with young girls through scholarship and mentoring.
The purpose of Twic East Girl’s Scholarship Program (TEGSP) here in Australia is to raise funds by mobilizing caring individuals, communities, organizations and businesses around the world to meet the educational and developmental needs of hardworking girls back in Kakuma refugee Camp as well as advocate for girl’s education and empowerment here in Australia.
TEGSP would like to act as a catalyst in shaking up the pre-conceived notion of gender discrimination in education and promote equal opportunities in regards to education and as a result encourage pro-economic independency, strong interpersonal skills, and reassert a sense of hope in the future for young women. We advocate in our communities that when it’s come to education everyone should be on an equal foothold.