Mary Goretty Oyella was born in Loa in Eastern Equatoria State in South Sudan. Following the outbreak of conflict, she fled with her family as a refugee to Uganda. In 2002, Mary graduated from Makerere University, Kampala with BA in Sociology and Social Administration. After graduation, she worked for World Vision Uganda Children of War Rehabilitation Programme, and Christian Relief Services Uganda as an Assistant Peacebuilding/Protection Officer.
Mary was awarded a postgraduate scholarship by Windle Trust International in 2012 to pursue a Master’s of Arts degree in Education, Gender and International Development at the Institute of Education, University College London. She researched and wrote her dissertation entitled: ‘Expanding girls’ capabilities to overcome barriers to their education in a post conflict rural South Sudan-Case study Tambura County, Western Equatoria State, South Sudan’.
Shortly after returning to South Sudan in July 2013, Mary began working for UNFPA as Gender Based Violence Specialist, based in Bor, Jongolei State. She is passionate about educational opportunities for girls and women, and is now pursuing the possibility of a PhD at the Institute of Education in London.
Mary says, “Life is about supporting others; Windle Trust’s contribution in my life is an investment for me and my family as well as my country, the challenge remains on how I can pay back this generosity to other people who may need help. Academically, I am motivated to move beyond an MA – in the near future I would like to undertake my PhD. Learning never ends and exposure is the best teacher.”
Written by David Masua, Windle Trust