The Turkish government has offered scholarships for 15 South Sudanese students to acquire knowledge in various advanced fields of education.
Erdem Mutaf, Turkish Ambassador to South Sudan, said the five- year scholarship program will cover all costs of study at Turkish Universities.
Inclusive in the education will be a one year course in the Turkish language, Mutaf said in Juba yesterday while unveiling the winners of the scholarships.
Mutaf said education is one of the key priorities in his country’s relationship with South Sudan.
“Turkish Embassy has been doing many activities in South Sudan, and they are not limited only on political bilateral,” he said.
“We are also active in humanitarian relief, capacity building through our developmental agencies,” Mutaf added.
Among those who received the scholarships included a refugee with Mutaf hailing it as an important mark in history, promising more offers for them.
Gabriel Changson Chang, the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology noted the scholarship is a great support to the government and people of South Sudan.
“We all heartily appreciate and we hope it will continue in a bigger way,” Chang said at the event.
“Turkey has invested a lot in South Sudan and we want to appreciate that and encourage the Turkish enterprises to get engaged in South Sudan,” he said.
“We are also trying to develop durable relationship with the Ministry of Higher Education in terms of the same issue and give some scholarships to the ministry.”
Seven out of the 15 recipients of the scholarships were female.
He said that he is happy because 7 out 15 are female.
“The most important thing I want to tell is that I want you to come back with credible certificates,” Chang said.
“I want you to concentrate on your studies, be our ambassadors over there, we want you to behave very disciplinary behaviors, don’t do something that will discredit us as a country.”
Atif Amir, a Sudanese and refugee in Maban, who won the scholarship, said he struggled for such a chance over many years.
“It is very hard to get this scholarship, we were very many refugees and I managed to get it,” Amir said.
“I am very happy to go to Turkey because it’s not easy for us to go to university as refugees.”
Pamela Kany Francis, who will pursue a PhD in electrical engineering, said the scholarship is a great opportunity for her.
“I believe in future it’s going to help me a lot,” she said.
“I am encouraging ladies to focus on their education and forget rushing to marriage.”