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.
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

Apr 18, 2014

"A Time of Rebirth and Renewal"

Abuk, Form 3, Malek Academy
Abuk, Form 3, Malek Academy

Dear Friends, 

Spring marks new beginnings, and here at PESS, we are enjoying the joys of the season:  blooming flowers, budding trees-- even office cleaning! For the people of South Sudan, this spring also brings a fresh start, as many begin to rebuild their livelihoods after the devastating violence that occurred this past December. 

As you know from our last update, Alex and I had planned to be in South Sudan now, implementing Girls Leadership, Feminine Hygiene, and HIV/AIDS programs with our partners in South Sudan.  While I am disappointed that December’s violence has pushed back project implementation to 2015, I am still so proud to hear about all of the hard work of our in-country partners.  Daniel Majok Gai, our South Sudan Country Director, has been working tirelessly, leading his fellow countrymen and women through the recovery process.  When I spoke to him, he told me about his visit to Juba and Bor and happily reported that the situation seems to have stabilized, citizens carrying out their daily activities “normally” and “peacefully.”  Government offices have reopened and are functioning as usual.  Populations in the towns continue to increase, as those who were displaced feel safe enough to return to their homes.   And, as we at PESS were thrilled to hear, schools throughout the conflict-affected regions are opening their doors for the next semester—including Malek Academy and Langbaar Modern Secondary.   Malek Academy is temporarily housed in Juba due to the extreme damage done to the school during the conflict in Bor.

Speaking of the girls, they are more excited than ever to start school again!  Abuk, a continuing student at Malek Academy explains that she is eager to sit her Form 3 Final examinations this June and continue her education to realize her dreams of becoming a nurse.  She is well on her way: the deputy principal at Malek describes her as an outstanding student, outshining all the boys in science classes. Grace, a new student at Malek Academy is so excited for the opportunity to start at the prestigious school, expressing her gratitude for the “tireless dedication and hard work” of the sponsors who enable her to receive her education.  We are so grateful to She’s the First, Global Giving Girl Effect, and sponsors Joanna and Sue, who will all continue to support these girls and their classmates through their education at Malek Academy, and others at Langbaar Modern Secondary and Bor College High.  

The teachers at the schools are equally excited to continue business as usual, for they know the importance of education as this country rebuilds.  The principal of Malek Academy expresses his gratitude to the donors, explaining that the support is “encouraging to these young girls,” in this time of strife.  He is eager to cooperate with PESS to realize the common goal: “The success of girls’ higher education in South Sudan.” 

The seeds for a fresh start in South Sudan are there; now they need to be cultivated.  Please remember the girls of South Sudan this spring season; together, we can help them grow and thrive as they become the future leaders of South Sudan.

As always, thank you for your continued support in spreading education and hope!  We hope that this spring brings you opportunities for growth and renewal, just as it does for the girls of South Sudan.

 

With gratitude,

Laura Lloyd-Braff

Media and Communications

A Langbaar student sports her school uniform
A Langbaar student sports her school uniform
Students with Daniel & teacher from Malek Academy
Students with Daniel & teacher from Malek Academy
Amour hopes to become a doctor someday
Amour hopes to become a doctor someday
Yuol hopes to have a career in politics
Yuol hopes to have a career in politics
Mar 20, 2014

From Crisis to Hope

Hiding in the bush for safety.
Hiding in the bush for safety.

Dear Friends,

We were almost there! We were supposed to take off to South Sudan with our team and thanks to you we almost met our funding goal. But unexpected circumstances took us by surprise.

Our last update we were ready to go to South Sudan in February to begin implementing the Girls Student Leadership, HIV/AIDS Youth Program, Menstruation Management Workshop, Vocational Pad Production Program, drill our eighth water well, complete the last four classrooms at Tong Pagook Primary School, and plant two school community gardens.

But on December 15, 2013 civil unrest in the capital of Juba escalated into tribal and political violence that spread two days later to Bor, Jonglei State where our PESS offices and home of our South Sudan Director is located.

Daniel Majok Gai, our in country Director, his wife Yom and baby son Thon were caught in the violence and had to go into the bush to hide for safety. Daniel led 100 people to safety where they had to live nine days in the swampland without clean water and hardly any food to sustain them.

We, in the US, felt helpless as we made cell contact with Daniel and he described the violence and death occurring. PESS worked tirelessly with the US State Department during the Christmas season to evacuate Daniel and his family.   Daniel’s 10 month old son became critically ill and dehydrated and would not make it if they weren’t airlifted out. They caught a bush plane while under heavy gunfire at the Bor Airstrip to get the baby to Juba Hospital.

To hear and view more on Daniel’s harrowing escape, the following links are live for you to visit: NPR, CPR Colorado Matters, Al Jazeera America, and The Denver Post.

Daniel, Yom, and baby Thon are now safely in Nairobi. I joined to assist them in getting the family temporarily settled until things in Bor settle down and the villagers return.

Daniel is returning to Juba and Bor, South Sudan the end of March and will assess the schools and see how many villagers are there and how many students are able to attend school.

We don’t give up! We have been working in South Sudan since 2005 right after the signing of the CPA with constant challenges and keep going back and making a difference! We are serve 3,000 children and have made such an impact on girl’s education that the Ministry of Education came to visit Daniel and see if we could work together!

The culture is changing as the girls realize they have a right to education. It’s folks like you who are making the investment to help them make that change.

Let’s give the girls HOPE once again.   As they return from the refugee camps to their village schools, let’s give them the HOMECOMING PRESENT of Girls Leadership Development! After all, they are the future leaders of South Sudan and they want to lead the way to change!

With Gratitude,

Carol Francis-Rinehart
US Executive Director

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