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Meet Monika Nyalang

by Debra Dawson

Monika Nyalang 

Monika Nyalang celebrated her 15th birthday on April 1st. When she gets older, she wants to build an orphanage for girls and boys in South Sudan to help children like her who have lost their parents. School is very important in her life and, in her free time, she likes to study, especially her favorite subject, English. Giraffes are her favorite animals, and she loves the color orange.

Monika’s favorite memory is the way she survived the war in South Sudan, which began in 2013 and doesn’t show signs of ending. The most influential person in her life is her aunt, who has cared for her since her parents passed away. Monika dreams of visiting America to meet the “chosen helpers,” our many sponsors, who support the 43 ASAH girls and three boys.

Cooking is her favorite activity, so the best thing that happened to her so far this year was staying for a month with the other ASAH girls at ChildVoice Intl, where she learned how to bake buns and other things. Her all-time favorite food is chicken pizza. When asked what makes her smile she responded, “I smile when someone makes funs.”

Giraffe Facts 


Common Name: Giraffe

Scientific Name: Giraffa camelopardalis

Type: Mammals

Diet: Herbivores 

Average Life Span in the Wild: 25 Years 

Size: 14 to 19 ft 

Weight: 1,750 to 2,800 lbs 

Giraffes are listed as “vulnerable” with their population on the decline. They are the world’s tallest animals and their long legs, usually about 6 feet tall, enable them to run at speeds up to 35 miles an hour at short distances and can run 10 miles an hour over long distances.  They use their long necks to reach leaves at the tops of trees. They usually eat around 100 pounds of leaves a week. Due to their herbivore status, giraffes are vulnerable to predators. Their long necks help them keep a look out for predators. Each giraffe has its own unique patterned coat.  It was long held that there is only one species of giraffe. “Up until recently, the consensus has been there is only one species of giraffe with multiple subspecies. In 2016, some scientists released a study that claims genetic differences among giraffe populations indicate the existence of four distinct giraffe species.”

Source: National Geographic 


About the Author

Debra DawsonDebra Dawson

Deb Dawson is a writer, photographer, filmmaker, businesswoman, teacher, humanitarian, and philanthropist. She holds a B.S. Ed. in Education and English, and an MFA in Creative Writing. Her role as mother to biological, step, and internationally adopted children led her to write When Love is Not Enough, a memoir about the way mothers and daughters forge relationships in the face of tremendous obstacles.


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