Christina, from South Sudan, grew up with refugee status in Lebanon, Egypt, Israel, and Uganda. She says, “I came to GHIS scared and hopeless. But I left hopeful, strong, and resilient.” For her, “GHIS changed my life; I came to believe in myself regardless of where I came from and I had been a refugee. GHIS enabled me to get out of that negative self-perception, so that instead of feeling sorry for myself, I came to fully embrace my story and use it as my strength to move forward.” Christina learned that what she has to say matters–and she was not silenced once she understood this!
GHIS had such an impact on her that she wants to eventually create a school like GHIS back in South Sudan to empower other young people.
Currently: Christina is in Israel, in her second year of studying Government at Reichman University. She finds that the environment there is much different from GHIS, where students lived together and were friends, even though they had different backgrounds and perspectives on the issues. She misses the GHIS environment, but she brings it with her since she is more tolerant of other people and is open to other ideas. While that attitude may not always be returned, she persists because this is who she has become.
A refugee’s winding path: Her family is from the part of Sudan that would become South Sudan, but before that happened she was born in a refugee camp in Lebanon. Part of her childhood was spent in Israel, until South Sudan achieved independence and they were deported back there. She and her family would flee again when the civil war erupted, this time to Uganda where she would be separated from her family. This young woman who experienced unimaginable hardships is committed to learning as much as she can, so that she can go back and help her country.
Lasting friendships: For Christina, the friendships she made at GHIS were incredible. She credits this because she had intense conversations with so many people, getting to really know them and their lives, connecting them to each other at a deep level.
Big dreams, realistic dreaming: Being resilient is something she learned about at GHIS, and it’s a quality that helps her be realistic when considering what she can do for her country. She hopes to eventually work in the government, but right now she’s focused on doing those things that can bring change now. On a recent visit back home, she saw that people lacked education and healthcare–which is where she plans on focusing her efforts for the biggest impact.
But first, she plans to explore and study more, taking advantage of opportunities that will help her eventually help her country.
David joined GHIS because he was looking for the right educational establishment to develop personally and professionally. As soon as he heard about GHIS, he realized that it suits his values.
“As someone who has always been committed to coexistence in Israel, I see GHIS as a great vehicle to bring young people together in an accepting and non-prejudicial way.”
As well as being a teacher, David is also trained in special needs education at all school levels.
David holds a joint Honors B.Ed. in Special Education ages 6 to 21, and BA in Literature at Oranim College