Maker Studio Spotlight: Teens Ta Guwa Magazine

October 12, 2023


In March 2020 school doors around the world closed as an unknown virus spread globally. The impact on children learning in emergency settings like South Sudan was tragic. Prior to the pandemic, over 2.8 million, nearly 70%, of South Sudanese children were out of school (UNICEF, 2020). During the pandemic, more children were out of school and the rates of teen pregnancy, and early childhood marriage all increased - leaving girls particularly vulnerable to risk.

Girls Education South Sudan (GESS) stood before the pandemic and is still persisting to change that. GESS is an inclusive programme that is transforming the lives of a generation of children in South Sudan, especially girls and those in the margins of society– through education. It is a programme funded jointly by UKAid, USAID, EU, and the governments of Canada and Sweden.

 To date, GESS has directly served over 725,000 learners across South Sudan. 

The GESS team provides an array of activities including Behaviour Change Communications,,Research and Learning about what is working and what isn’t, Cash Transfers, Capitation Grants, Quality Education And Disability Inclusion.

Under these programmes, GESS runs an inspiring mentoring programme that approached Pangea with a unique task.

The Task

To design a schema and layout the inaugural edition of a magazine meant to engage late primary and secondary school-going children. Many articles will feature girls and topics around gender equity and inclusion, but the magazine's audience extends to all genders.

Creating an engaging design

Lillian, our design lead, takes us through the process of laying out the GESS Magazine.

The process of laying out the jazz magazine was very interesting but power parked with quite lots of fun aspects that needed tweaking around.This is a 100 page magazine with various articles and subjects going out to young primary learners and upper secondary youth.

The process entailed making sure that the articles are well laid out with the right spacing, right font, paragraphs, making sure that we have the right subheadings, the right title for every article and captions are in the right place giving a proper photo description. We also incorporated some illustrations just to make sure that these learners would get the message intended in the articles.

Additionally we had continuous collaboration with our client making sure that we addressed all their comments, overall incorporating an Afro centric design aimed at reaching out to Children in an African setting to give them the best and a relatable experience.”

The Product

The product that was developed is a 100 page teen-focused magazine, titled ‘Teens ta Guwa’, loosely translated as ‘Power Teens’. The magazine features stories of peers following their dreams, others living inspiring stories and overcoming challenges. It also seeks to motivate students to become entrepreneurial and ambitious. ‘Teens Ta Guwa’ magazine also provides teens with access to information about services that  they can access and encourages it’s readers to reach out for support, if and when they need it.

The Result

10,600 copies of the magazine have been printed for upper primary and secondary school learners. The magazine is used as part of the GESS mentoring programme, aimed to develop life skills in learners across the country but is also accessible to children outside the program.

Teens Ta Guwa is a very innovative way of engaging with teens and providing them with access to information and advice that may otherwise be difficult to access, especially in locations where access to media and services is restricted. We are excited to make this skill and knowledge-building resource available to the teens and we are looking forward to hearing their feedback,” Akuja de Garang, GESS Team Leader said while encouraging the teens to grab a copy (GESS).

Read the digital version here:

End Notes

GESS, 2022. “New Youth Magazine Seeks to Empower South Sudanese Teens” accessed via

UNICEF, 2019. “Education budget brief South Sudan 2019-2020. My education, my future, my life.” Accessed via