Project Education South Sudan

The mission of Project Education South Sudan (PESS) is to help fund and support the building of primary schools in rural South Sudan. PESS emphasizes the inclusion of girls and women in the educational opportunities it promotes. PESS fosters community empowerment and leadership development in order to ensure that educational progress is sustainable.
Feb 27, 2015

HIV Leadership Day: Girls Realizing their Power

students making HIV Red Ribbons
students making HIV Red Ribbons

We all remember biology classes where we talked about the reproductive system and personal body parts, right? A bit intimidating, even a little embarrassing? That was also true for our South Sudanese students but by the end of the first class they were already game to have lively conversations about gender roles and stereotypes and eager to learn more about female menstruation management.

One of the exercises this week at the Project Education South Sudan's  HIV/AIDS Youth Leadership and Menstrual Management Training in Bor, South Sudan was where we began to see a real shift in how girls realized their own power. We asked the girls to explain female menses to the boys.

It was exciting to see the girls becoming more comfortable with talking and actually leading the discussion. The students then divided into small groups of 4 or 5 and we could hardly get them to stop talking when the session had run well past the allotted time!

Although these young people, again, ages 13 to 20, have seen more in their young lives than most adults in America will ever see, they are still in many ways naive. Many had never heard of a condom let alone seen or held one. Each student got to open a package containing a condom as we explained how it is used. We lightened up the conversation by having them blow up the condoms like balloons and then decorate the classroom with them. Soon the energy and room felt like we were decorating for prom!

To complete the celebration at the end of class, we made HIV/AIDS Awareness Red Ribbons the students will wear to start conversation and education with their peers.

All in all, it is thrilling to see the needle move a little bit when it comes to girls realizing their power, boys respecting girls and each other, and the students getting a solid understanding of HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention!

Read Tamara’s weekly blog to hear more about the teacher & student training! Her style is light, sensitive and engaging…                                 Tamara’s blog link here

Girls making Monthly Menstrual Calendars
Girls making Monthly Menstrual Calendars
Field Implementor Tamara teaching Menses
Field Implementor Tamara teaching Menses
Girls reading Menstrual Cycle Chart
Girls reading Menstrual Cycle Chart
Nov 5, 2014

Hope emerges again! The Girls are back in School!

Malek Academy girls
Malek Academy girls

 

Dear Supporting Friends,

Thank you for your continued support of Project Education South Sudan’s Unleash the Leaders Girl’s Leadership Development program. We are proud to announce PESS is sharing our HIV/AIDS Youth Leadership and Menstrual Management Pad Vocational Programs in Nepal, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Equatoria, South Sudan. We, as you know, had a hiccup in our implementation dates in South Sudan due to the internal conflict that erupted in December 2013.

Many of the girls and their families are now returning home to Bor from the IDP and refugee camps in order to continue their education. The HIV/AIDS Youth Leadership Program is soon to be implemented at our schools in Bor County. We recently received a report from Daniel, our South Sudan Director, notifying us that our HIV/AIDS program has been approved by the headmasters of Langbaar Modern Secondary School and John Garang Memorial University in Bor February-April 2015! We are now in negotiations with Malek Secondary Academy in Juba.

Abuk, Malek Secondary Academy recent graduate and former Pagook Primary School student whom we are so very proud of, just finished her exit exam as the only girl sitting! She is awaiting results to continue higher education as a nurse. Abuk is excited about being one of the few select girl graduates at Malek. She is not wasting any time being idle though. While waiting for her exit exam results, she is taking a computer course.

We have also heard from two other former PESS students: Pagook Primary School graduate and Malek Secondary Academy student, Anna, whom you might remember from our "Anna Rocks Computer Class!" post. Anna is doing very well as one of the outstanding students at Malek Academy. Her dream after graduation is to continue onto post-secondary studies in Medicine. “I am very happy and feel proud of my accomplishments thus far. I could not have had this life changing opportunity without supporters like you so I can continue my journey of becoming a female doctor in the future. Thank you.”

Akur, former Ayak Anguei Girls Primary School student is in her second year at Malek Academy. She is determined to succeed. “In April of 2014, I joined Malek Academy after the devastating conflict in December of this year destroyed my high school in Bor. I could not have done this without the support of PESS, She’s the First, Global Giving and all of you who continue to believe in me. It is because of you I have hope of making it to university in order to fulfill my dream of becoming a lawyer or an accountant. Because of the hope I now carry, I will make sure that ALL girls should be able to go to school.”

Abuk, Anna and Akur are looking forward to being a part of the implementing leadership for the HIV/AIDS Youth Leadership and Menstrual Management Pad Vocational programs this winter.

So, the girls are becoming the leaders we knew they would become, they are Unleashing the Leaders in themselves with your support!

Thank you again for being there in the midst of the harrowing conflict. The girls know there are girls, women and men out there who care and are so grateful for hanging in there for them!

With peace and gratitude,

Meera Meyer                                                                       Carol Francis-Rinehart       

Daniel with Malek Academy Girls 10-2014
Daniel with Malek Academy Girls 10-2014
Anna
Anna
Akur
Akur

Links:

Jul 18, 2014

Rebuilding Hope Through Girls

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As we enjoy the freedom that the summer season brings, seven girls in South Sudan are also experiencing a new freedom – the freedom to return to their studies.  Daniel Majok Gai, our South Sudan Country Director, and PESS were sought after by 7 of the 14 displaced high-school aged Ayak Anguei Girls Primary School girls who are being sponsored as part of our Girls Leadership Program.  The girls left the IDP and refugee camps to continue their education by taking the risk in finding Daniel. Daniel was also hard at work locating all the sponsored secondary girls. They connected and the girls have returned to their studies at Malek Secondary Academy, which is temporarily being housed in Juba.  Daniel remains dedicated to locating the remaining seven girls and ensuring they are safe and free to continue their education.

We are also in the midst of collaborating with a number of wonderful organizations for our Leadership Program.  Among these organizations are Seeds of Exchange, She’s the First, Nepal Foundation, Hope for Humanity, and the African Community Center, ECDC.  With this partnership, we will be sharing our HIV/AIDS & Menstrual Hygiene Management Pad Vocational Program and our Student Leadership Program with the hopes to educate and empower women and girls all over the world!  The feedback from these organizations will allow us to modify and improve the program.  Although we were unable to implement the program in South Sudan this year, we are looking forward to hitting the ground running February 2015.  

Daniel returned to Colorado for his annual trip this past month and shared with us the aftereffects of the terrible conflict that occurred in Bor where our PESS offices were located in South Sudan.  Despite the looting and destruction, he still carried a message of hope that the people of South Sudan are returning, and as before will continue to rebuild the country as they did after the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005.  

As you enjoy the freedom of the summer days, please think of the girls in Bor and Juba, South Sudan that so desperately want the freedom to be educated and contribute to the future of their country.  We at PESS thank you for your support and hope you enjoy your summer season.

 

 

With Peace and Gratitude on behalf of the Girls,

 

Meera Meyer

Communications

Project Education South Sudan

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