Mary Mach, ESOL Student
My name is Mary Mach. I was born in South Sudan in state Bor in 1976 and I went to school until 2nd grade. I didn’t learn English. I learned Arabic. I ran to Kenya in 1992 as a refugee due to war. I didn’t go to school in Kenya because I was taking care of my younger sister and brother. In a refugee camp my day to day life was to cook and fetch water for my family because I was the oldest. Then in 2004 my family and I moved to U.S.A. for a better life.
Being a mom and studying is not easy for me. I have many problems. I don’t have parents here in the United States. I take my kids to school in the morning. Then I go to my school for English as a Second Language and also for basic skills. When I am done with my classes, I pick them up from their school. I have six children: two in high school, one in junior high, two in primary, and another in daycare. When they are home, I start to cook food for them. After dinner I help them with their homework. At 8 p.m. they go to sleep. Then I stay up to study.
I went back to school to do what I need. I used to need a translator. When I went to see my doctor, that encouraged me to go back to school because I want to be independent. I didn’t want to share private things with someone who wasn’t my doctor. My eight-year-old son encourages me a lot. He said, “Mom, you don’t need a translator now. Mom, you can read and return the teacher’s notes back to her.” I’m so happy to my kids for their encouragement. They make me strong and I am proud of them.
I went to school every day last year. I got my CNA license and I still continue my education. I am working on my GED. I study hard every day. I say, “I’m not a quitter.” I’m persistent to do it. I have a dream and one day my dream will come true.
My goal is that I want to be a midwife and go back to my country to teach the women how they can deliver their babies. In my country, women die every day in their villages, because they don’t have a good midwife. I was working there for two years in Kakuma, a refugee camp. I saw the lack of midwives. Pregnant young girls always died. That’s why I want to go back to help them.
I’m encouraging you, mothers in school. It is not easy, but if you focus, you will get what you want. School is not for lazy people. If you need help, go to someone and ask them for help. Don’t give up. One day you can get your dream.