Trees for hope

02 November 2006


AFTER 21 years of civil war, Sudan still has people of hope and courage. A partnership between the Windle Trust and the Anglican Chaplaincy has brought Grace Kenyi (seen here with the Anglican Chaplain, the Revd John Butler) to the University of Bangor to work for a Master’s degree in the School of Agricultural and Forest Sciences.

The Windle Trust, which specialises in bringing foreign students from poor countries for education in the UK, is paying her travel and tuition fees, and the chaplaincy is paying her living expenses and accommodation.

Mrs Kenyi, who is 33 and has left her two young children in the care of her mother, comes from Liria, a community the size of Bangor which has no running water or hospital, and precious little food. She graduated from Juba University, and is one of only three women in Liria to have a university education, but she had difficulty finding suitable work, because of the poor local economy.

Now she hopes to increase her knowledge of forestry to help Sudanese women make better commercial use of their shea-nut trees and similar crops. She says local women have a wealth of traditional knowledge about medicinal plants and herbs, as well as food crops, and she wants to help them capitalise on it; but the area where they live is still dangerous.

Mr Butler thinks she must be "in deep shock at seeing the resources we have here in the West". With the university’s expertise in agriculture and forestry, he would "really like to see the chaplaincy supporting three students next year — perhaps more women".


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