Stand With Students: Celebrating Golda’s Graduation

by Cathy Blakeman, Stand With Students Director

It isn’t very often that a child born into vulnerability has the opportunity to become educated. Maybe even less commonly will such a child find the stability and passion to return to her homeland hoping to lift others up.

11232297_10153663595192638_4593439811655478166_oGolda is an Sudanese orphan who grew up under the care of Lahash’s partner, Mama Susan, in Kampala, Uganda. As a vulnerable child, she struggled to have school fees for primary and secondary school. But through Mama Susan and the Lahash Sponsorship Program, God made a way for Golda to complete her high school education. She excelled in her studies, but the cost of university put her future dreams out of reach. Along with other donors, Lahash’s Stand With Students Program stepped in to provide mentoring and financial aid. On Oct. 30, 2015, my husband and I had the tremendous privilege of attending her graduation ceremony from Uganda Christian University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics! After four years of hard work and commitment she is now employed with the diocese of the Anglican Church in South Sudan beginning to give back to her country in a way that was impossible to even dream about when she was a child.

We celebrated this momentous event in different ways. We attended the graduation ceremony of more than 1,500 graduates, straining to see the podium over the heads of the 7,000+ other attendees! The pomp and tradition was thick and even the president of Uganda showed up to witness his wife’s graduation. Together with Mama Susan we yelled when they called Golda’s name—so very proud! Afterwards we celebrated with Golda and her fellow South Sudanese classmates at a special party. Food, camaraderie, Christian devotion and national pride characterized this joyful gathering.

Beyond these events, we celebrated all day the fact that a life has been transformed from vulnerability to stability. God has used many different people to support and encourage Golda along the way. Along with Golda, we say “thank-you” to everyone who has given to Stand With Students and helped make her dream a reality.

Golda was the first of many students we hope to see walk across the graduation stage and step off ready to impact their nation. Click below to donate or learn more about how you can Stand With Students.