Suzan Lupai grew up in South Sudan and is currently studying at Reading, thanks to donors who have taken care of her University fees. Her homeland has been disrupted by conflict for as long as she can remember. The very first thing she did each time her and her family were displaced was to sign up for school. There was nothing more important to her than getting an education. It was vital. Even during the worst of the conflict, she went to school. "I am so grateful to donors who have helped me continue my dream of being educated."
South Sudan has a long history of civil war and political unrest, and conflict continues to affect its people today. She fought her way through school, determined to get an education.
Suzan managed to get a degree and eventually found herself working in agriculture and food security. But Suzan wanted to do more to help her community. She spent years applying for financial support to enable her to go on to further study. Suzan needed financial help, but the door on funding seemed to be firmly shut. However, last year Suzan got the happy news that there was a place for her on a master's programme at the University of Reading.
Suzan says she is here because she wants to be a role model for her three little girls. "I want to show them how education can help to make you a better person. It is difficult for many people in South Sudan; every day you fear for yourself and your family. People get scared. You can't always control what happens, but you can control how you act in bad situations." Education gave her a reason to keep going and the ability to support her family and help her community.
"I cannot thank those who helped me along the way enough. Without your help I would not be studying at Reading. Students like me rely on your generosity."
How you can help
Suzan is an extraordinary woman who will go on to do remarkable things with her education, not least inspire her three daughters to follow in her footsteps. Today, we are asking our community to come together and support students like Suzan. Our aim is to give three more students this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity next year.
You can help us to support three more students with their tuition fees. These students will be from African countries affected by conflict and your support will give them the opportunity to study at Reading. The knowledge they gain at Reading will not only impact their own lives, but also touch the lives of their local communities when they return after their studies. Education gave Suzan a reason to keep going and you can help more students like her.
You can change the lives of students like Suzan. Together, we can bring more students like her to the University of Reading.