25 students from the N’djamena English International School (NEIS) were invited to the American Embassy September 25 to discuss and debate essays they had written several months ago about sexualtrafficking of children, the treatment of rape victims, and/or the rights of girls to an education the same as boys. Acting Public Affairs Officer David Andresen welcomed the NEIS students to the embassy and commended them for the excellent essays they had written – in English – on such a serious set of subjects.
Some student essays were written in reaction to a documentary they saw called “Half the Sky,” about the sexual abuse and enslavement of children in Sierra Leone and Cambodia; others looked at an ongoing Chadian debate on the need for — or value in — sending girls to school. All NEIS students were against the sexual exploitation of children and supported educating girls, to be sure, but each one’s essay had expressed her or his view in their own unique ways. Four students were invited to read their essays aloud, after which the other students shared their own thoughts on the subject and comments on what had been read.
The NEIS students were reminded that they represent Chad’s tomorrow, and one day they will be responsible for guiding their country in the world and shaping their society’s values. They were encouraged to remember the strong and honest outrage they felt today at the injustice of sexual trafficking and denial of education to girls, the better to reject and condemn any gender biases or social prejudices they might meet in the future.