KAPOETA, JUNE 2, 2023 (CISA) – Rt Rev Emmanuel Bernadino Lowi, the bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Torit has appealed to parents and elders in the Namorunyang village, Kapoeta South County, to denounce child and forced marriages, terming the practice an “old mentality” detrimental to the future of young girls in South Sudan.
“Things have changed if you want to be somebody in the society you study, our parents did not have the chance we have now,” said the bishop.
Bishop Lowi who was speaking during a pastoral visit to Namorunyang challenged the elders and parents to change their mentality of the girl child as a source of wealth, but do more to send both the girls and boys to school for the betterment of the community.
“So, I would like to challenge elders because they went to some places some girls are taken to be forced to get married while still small because they only mind cows and they don’t care about the future of these girls and this is the old mentality, now if you have one girl and a boy educated, they can change the society, the water we are carrying will come to you through the pipe, even roads will be okay and education speaks future,” stated the prelate.
Bishop Lowi spoke to the hearts of the parents and elders urging them to choose education and stop the practice of early marriages. He used an analogy of the advancements in technology to how the community, through education, can solve some of their challenges such as the loss of cattle.
“I would like to ask parents here that if your children look for the studies, you can see mobile phones, you take photos, people who made these mobile phones was through education, we also want to study and make our phones so that you put photos for your cows if it gets lost you will look for it, so education makes the impossible possible, even without the education I would have not seen the Pope, I just want to encourage you this who have not joined and those in school not to get discouraged,” said Bishop Lowi.
He also encouraged the community to collaborate with the parish priest and the initiatives of Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church in Kapoeta South for the expansion of learning institutions in the area.
He said, “The young ones we shall try with the society here to put one or even three classes here, the parish is growing the parish priest has opened a school in Kapoeta town, and you are lucky he is also your parish priest if you coordinate with him he will also open for you a school here, especially this young men I am seeing around here, it is not too late for you to join studies if you have that chance do it, and we as a church can also help you, you are not alone we also depend on you if you do well we will be happy.”