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.
Aug 1, 2013

PESS Scholars Succeed in Secondary School!

Akout Chol Kuei
Akout Chol Kuei

Dear Donors,

First, allow us all at PESS to thank you for your continued support of girls’ education and leadership development in South Sudan, the world’s most vulnerable country. As you know, this is a nation with very limited infrastructure and a long history of war and violence.  Only 0.8% of girls attend primary school and even fewer continue on to secondary. Truly, South Sudan is the most difficult place on Earth for girls and women.  It is only with your support that PESS have been able to work in such a difficult region of the world.

This update is bringing you the current challenges and celebrating seven young girls who have matriculated with honors from Ayak Anguei Girls’ Primary School onto the most prestigious secondary schools in the region!

First the current challenge then keep reading to find the seven girls who are continuing against all odds!

Due to escalating tribal violence in Jonglei state, the government and local authorities have made the decision to temporarily close down the Ayak Anguei Girl's Primary School. Our priority has always been the safety and comfort of our girls and we will not jeopardize their security. While we wait on negotiations with state and local authorities and tribal violence to subside, the girls and their families have relocated to Bortown, where there is increased security and access to education.  

Under the guidance of PESS South Sudan Director Daniel Majok Gai, the community leaders have agreed to resume teaching after negotiations with the government regarding security and resettlement of the village where Ayak Anguei Girls Primary School is located, with the projected goal no later than February 2014.  Implementation of the Student Government for Girls by Girls Program will also be resumed at that time.

Despite the incredible challenges facing girls in South Sudan, we are honored to share the success of seven former students, all of which graduated from Ayak Anguei Girl’s Primary School.  We are proud to say each of these bright students was accepted into prestigious secondary schools in Malek and Bor, Jonglei State, South Sudan.

Former Ayak Anguei Girl’s Primary School students accepted into Malek Academy in Malek, Jonglei State, South Sudan:

Akuot Chol Kuei is currently in form 2 (10th grade) at Malek Academy.  She desperately wants to continue her education to become a doctor after completing high school. "My future career is to be a doctor and I hope I will be a great servant to our people. I want to bring freedom to my parents and my country at large. And I assure you I will fulfill my dream, since you with your good heart is willing to sponsor me.  I have been longing for this day and thanks to Almighty God that the long awaited has come."

Diing Chol Gai is currently in Form 2 (10th grade) at Malek Academy. She desperately wants to continue her education for a mining and pilot profession after completing high school. "My favorite book is Geography Altitude and I am interested in studying mining or study to be a pilot. So I am very glad when I hear you are going to offer sponsorship for me. I wish to do something good for my country in some years to come." 

Former Ayak Anguei Girl’s Primary School students accepted into Langbar Modern Academy in Bortown, Jonglei State, South Sudan:

Yar Ayuen Mayen is currently in Form 2 (10th grade) at Langbar Modern Academy.  

Yom Jima Bakit is currently in Form 2 (10th grade) at Langbar Modern Academy.  

Keui Achiek Ngueny is currently in Form 2 (10th grade) at Langbar Modern Academy.

Amer Keur Deng is currently in Form 2 (10th grade) at Langbar Modern Academy.

Keth Kuch Kuijok is currently in Form 2 (10th Grade) at Langbar Modern Academy. 

The girls listed here are doing amazingly well despite the fact that South Sudan struggles to find peace and security. They are each developing into strong young women with high hopes for becoming future leaders in South Sudan! Thank you for continuing to support their journey. We will keep you posted on the progress of Ayak Anguei Girls School and the Student Government for Girls by Girls. 

Sincerely,

The PESS Team

Diing Chol Gai
Diing Chol Gai
Yar Ayuen Mayen
Yar Ayuen Mayen
Yom Jima Bakit
Yom Jima Bakit
Keui Achiek Ngueny
Keui Achiek Ngueny
Amer Keur Deng
Amer Keur Deng
Keth Kuch Kuijok
Keth Kuch Kuijok

Links:

Apr 30, 2013

"Plowing" through with Persistence!

Our Dear Donors,
Thank you for your continued investment in girl’s leadership development in a country where only 0.8% of girls go to primary school. These girls ARE the FUTURE FEMALE LEADERS of South Sudan!

My last report I said I was on my way back to South Sudan to start beginning the implementation
of Phase I of the Student Leadership program school community garden.

As I have reported before, we work in the most fragile place in the developing world and the
government of South Sudan is slowly trying to create a civil society after
decades of war.

I was advised not to come as there was intertribal conflict and political insecurity  in the area where Ayak Anguei Girls School is.  The girls were transported to a safer area where they had to temporarily re-locate to continue their education.

The conflict has been resolved and the girls returned this week ( end of April) to Ayak
Anguei where they now are using the four new classrooms the storm destroyed! They are settling in and taking their exit exams, so we are all eager to see how the P8 girl’s final scores are. We are hopeful they are as bright as last
May’s class where 16 out of 23 girls matriculated onto secondary school!

The Korbel School of International Studies, Grad interns had the time to further enhance
and develop the student leadership development program.  They are working with Daniel Majok Gai, PESS
South Sudan Director via Skype to see how the Ministry of Education and
Agriculture can play a role.  Patience does have its virtue: we have now gotten the Ministry of Agriculture to work with the school in   assisting them in soil testing, marking the required hectors needed. Our intention was to create a sustainable program using the TOT (Trainer of the Trainer) model that could be shared and
passed on.

We are using the TOT model by training the identified female teachers, Ministry of Education
Gender Dept and School Head Matron along with the other teachers and Head
Master who in turn will train the designated young girls who are prefects of
their class levels. The designated prefect leaders will in turn train their
peers, establishing a mentorship model. By empowering themselves and their
peers, the girls will demonstrate the competencies from the CARE: Girls Competency-based Approach to
Leadership:

Pillar One : Prefect Training

Realizing the Power Within- Developing five competencies in students:

1. Voice and Assertion

A. Can articulate thoughts and make decisions, has his or her own voice, knows she/he
has the right to an opinion, able to be critical, to ask questions, and to be assertive.

2. Decision-making and Action

A. Sense that her decisions matter in her own life, can solve problems, can
create opportunities for herself ; believes that in acting on her decisions she can influence both her destiny and that of others.

3. Self-Confidence: Believing in herself

4. Organization

A. Able to organize herself to achieve her goals; able to take something from an idea to a final product.
 1. Conflict Resolution

5. Vision and Ability to Motivate Others

Able to bring people together to accomplish something, to direct how to translate an idea into a practical result, to play an active social role in the community.

a. Leadership and Followership

b. Plus training for prefects on how to train other students and training on Community
Garden implementation and training.

Pillar Two

Prefects
A. training the rest of the Students, each trains their own classroom

Gaining Legitimacy- The importance of student’s relationship to others. One of
the key components of developing leadership is the formation of students’
social networks.

Pillar Three

Prefects
organize community garden with rest of the students, PTA and school administration.

Teaching the students “to act in a way that has a positive influence on their lives and
the lives of family and community members”

To help develop “a better understanding of citizenship and empathy.”

The girlsare excited about their leadership program and are especially eager to
demonstrate their  new leadership skills in demonstrating their civic engagement for their communities through their
school community garden.

The girls are still in need of more garden tools: shovels,rakes, hoes, trowels, irrigation tubing and with the garden being larger than expected more “seed” monies for purchase of Seeds. They plan on growing maze, tomatoes, onions, pumpkins, squash, sorghum, root vegetables.

Thank you for your continued investment in girl’s leadership development in a country
where only 0.8% of girls go to primary school. These girls ARE the FUTURE FEMALE LEADERS of South Sudan!

Sincerely,

Carol Francis-Rinehart, Co-Founder/US Director

Elizabeth Majok Awuoi, Ayak Anguei Girls School Head Matron

Links:

Feb 1, 2013

Journey of Hope South Sudan Phase I School Garden

Kudual Areetic! Or great big hello in Dinka language!

I am heading off to South Sudan Feb. 12- March 7th to help our South Sudan Director, Daniel Majok Gai, Ayak Anguei Girls' School Head Master James Deng and Head Matron, Elizabeth Awuoi to research and begin implementing Phase I of the School Community Garden as part of the girl's leadership development program.

 PESS is working with three great, intelligent, bright & savvy Korbel School of International
Studies, University of Denver female Grad students using  CARE's:Girl's Competency-based Approach to Leadership along with Population Council's Girl-Centered Program Design: A Toolkit to Develop, Strengthen & Expand Adolescent Girls Program.

The School Community Garden Program will focus on utilizing the girl's school Prefect System and further develop the school Prefect System to include leadership components including 1.) Mentorship (higher grade girls guiding lower grade girls) 2.) Decision-making 3.) Developing Self-Confidence 4.) Organization 5.)Vision/ability to
motivate others.   By developing these competencies, girls are positioned to “gain public legitimacy” with other girls
and community members and take civic action in the community.

The girls will be an integral part of the process from establishing an election campaign, recruitment of PTA (Parent-Teacher Association), deciding location of garden, establishing plowing, planting,cultivating and harvesting responsibilities, forming a rotation of students to fulfill the tasks, to harvesting for school food consumption and bringing excess harvest to market raising funds for school activities.

By empowering themselves and their peers, the girls will demonstrate to their communities the model of cooperation, inclusion, and shared vision.

Please continue supporting the girls with their next steps in developing a Student Government model for their school that they are hoping to share with other schools and Ministry of Education.

I will return from South Sudan with exciting updates, stories,and photos  from the girls to share with
you. Your continued support brings hope to the future female leaders in a country where only 0.8% of girls are enrolled in primary school. Ayak Anguei girls are making history: 17 out of 23 matriculated to secondary school! Help them become recognized strong leaders in their community!


Yin ca leec areetic,  (Thank you very much in Dinka language!)

Carol Francis-Rinehart
Executive Director/Founder

Links:

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