Ann Marie Abela | South Sudan
Ann Marie Land is the founder of the Educate my Sister initiative, which leverages education to empower young girls and women. Through her work, Ann Marie promotes gender equality and women's rights and health, building capacities and conducive conditions for women to contribute to their own protection and that of their communities. She is currently also a teaching assistant at the University of Juba, the managing Director of ZAM Engineering Ltd, an event and class coordinator at Juba Kizomba Social, and a dance instructor. She holds a bachelors degree in Architecture from the University of Juba's College of Engineering and Architecture. Upon completing the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, Ann Marie plans to apply her new skills and network to continue working for the common good, sharing knowledge, and empowering others.
What do you do in your home country and what do you hope to do upon completion of your Fellowship? In particular, with the integration of your experiences with Drexel University?
I am a holder of bachelor degree in Architecture from the University of Juba / College of Engineering and Architecture. I am Teaching Assistant at the University of Juba and Managing Director of ZAM Engineering. I am an initiator of the Educate My sister Initiative, which leverages education to empower young girls and women and promoting gender equality and women's rights and health, to build the capacities and conducive conditions of women to contribute to their own protection and that of their communities. I strongly believe in social progress and working for the common good, knowledge sharing and empowering others, and after the completion of the fellowship and the skills gained I am planning to register the EMSI as a national NGO to be able of impacting more girls in my country, especially at the grass roots.
What is your favorite thing about your home country? What are you most excited about learning about Philadelphia?
My country is the newest country in the world, and is known for the for war that it has undergone, but it is not as known for its richness of oil, the Nile and fertile lands or its diversity of 64 trips with different dialog, music, dance and culture, and it is a country of beautiful people that are full of hope, perseverance and determination. South Sudan the Land of Beauty. I am looking forward to learning about Philadelphia's rich history.
Do you have any hobbies or an interesting fact you wish to share about yourself? I
I am a dance instructor teaches Salsa and Kizomba dance, and I love dancing simply because dance describes me: ,D- dedication ,A- ambition ,N- never gives up ,C- compassionate, E- Energetic.
If I were to come to your home country, what is the first thing I should eat?
Come to my restaurant called Amigos Restaurant & Bar, which serves South Sudanese food and drinks.