Susan Luka Mangu: How knowledge and skills make me stand out!

In honor of International Women's Day, FilmAid celebrates alumna Susan Luka Mangu who tells us in her own words why she's so proud of the skills that allow her to stand out.

FilmAid alumna Susan Luka Mangu. Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya

FilmAid alumna Susan Luka Mangu. Dadaab Refugee Camp, Kenya

I am 18 years old and came to Kenya with my siblings in September 2014. We travelled for three days from South Sudan to Kakuma Refugee Camp. After eight months we were relocated to Dadaab.

I really appreciate the fact that I have a place to call home but I feel challenged by the system of education here in Kenya. When I left South Sudan I was a form two student [high school] but when I came here in 2015 I was told to join class seven [primary school]. I felt like the ground had opened up and swallowed me.  I could not believe what I was told.

I decided to stay at home for a while to think it over. I had started to lose hope but fortunately I heard of the YEP Centre (Youth Education Pack) where I could take courses which suited my objectives. I opted to join YEP where I learnt computer secretariat for 1 year.

In 2016 my cousin told me that FilmAid was recruiting youth for their Journalism Training Programme, and because I had a lot of interest in photography, I applied. I was called for an interview, which I successfully passed.

FilmAid’s Journalism Training Programme was an eye opener for me. My family supported and encouraged me even though the distance from Dagahaley to Ifo, where the training took place, was quite far.

I never gave up because it was the most interesting thing that had happened in my life since I left South Sudan. I was sure that with journalism skills I would get a job at a Radio or TV station or start my own business in the camp or back in South Sudan.

I learnt so much, and I felt alive because I could express my emotions through writing stories about the community, including taking professional photographs. Now I can compile stories on my own and publish a community magazine independently. I really thank FilmAid for the knowledge and skills that I believe have made me stand out as a young woman in this camp.

I would like to advise girls and women in Dadaab to take courses that will give them knowledge and skills, enabling them to earn a living from entrepreneurship and employment.

Follow FilmAid on Twitter and Facebook for more inspiring stories of the women of FilmAid. International Women's Day is March 8, 2017. Support FilmAid and help forge a more inclusive, gender equal world.