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 22, 2016

Global Giving Report July 19, 2016

Newly built desks arrive by truck
Newly built desks arrive by truck

In South Sudan it is rainy season. The almost daily rains cause valuable crops to grow. This is good, but the steady rains also make most roads impassable. The few paved roads, mostly in the capital city of Juba, are fine, but most roads in South Sudan are dirt, and become slick and rutted this time of year. With almost no roadside service available, most cars and trucks stay off the roads. The movement of goods, services and people slows and many kinds of work become nearly impossible. When dry season returns in October or November, there will be a rush to complete projects that are currently languishing.

In the few months before the rains arrived, Daniel was able to complete several important goals. Two wells were drilled, in the village of Pagook and at the Sunlight Primary school in Bor that Daniel runs. Two school roofs were repaired that had been damaged in recent storms. School desks, 60 of them, were built and delivered to two villages. Construction of goods such as desks have to be commissioned.

Materials need to be located, and carpenters hired for the work, as there are few off the shelf products such as this. When the shipment of desks is delivered, the village turns out to welcome the arrival. This is a big deal for young students who know they will be able to sit at a desk, rather than on a crude log bench or even on the dirt floor.   

Schools continue to operate during rainy season, so Daniel continues his work of vetting new students for tuition assistance. PESS now pays tuition and living expenses for 50 girls, much of this through serving as a partner with She’s The First in New York.

While we cheer the progress, it comes with much effort. Since there is no banking service in Bor that is able to receive funds from the US, Daniel has to travel to Juba to secure the funds to make tuition payments for students at the schools and to complete the other projects that PESS does. Although the road trip is only 125 miles, this can take a full day during rainy season, that is when the buses and trucks can actually even make the trip. The short hop by air can cost hundreds of dollars each way, and Daniel often has to pay for several days of hotel stay on these trips. Banking has become a challenge, so Daniel had to visit the bank daily until the funds were transferred to his Bor bank. Business in South Sudan is often not an efficient operation.

On top of this, Daniel’s family has experienced multiple health challenges this rainy season. Malaria and parasitic diseases are frequent visitors, and these bouts often frustrate Daniel’s effort to achieve the work goals he tries to reach. These conditions are hard to treat because, in the small clinics available to Daniel’s family, diagnosis is imprecise due to the lack of medical resources and effective treatment drugs are inaccessible.

Daniel remains grateful to his friends and supporters who offer him a great sense of encouragement and strength. Daniel maintains an amazing optimism and cheerfulness, even during a challenging rainy season. Thank you, each one, for your valued engagement!

The new desks bring smiles to students
The new desks bring smiles to students
Daniel with Students
Daniel with Students
Apr 20, 2016

Global Giving Report April 19, 2016

School girls supported by Project Education Sudan
School girls supported by Project Education Sudan

Deborah is a high school student in Bor, South Sudan. “I’m very happy to write this letter to you as a sign of appreciation for all the supports you have done to me. I really appreciate your hard work. You have provided me with a powerful weapon to fight enemy called illiteracy through your support.  I will do my best to succeed...” she wrote a few weeks ago.

 

Education! Basic Education! That’s the powerful weapon Deborah is talking about. The unfortunate fact is that out of every six women in South Sudan, only one can read. No wonder Deborah is happy to be able to write this letter of appreciation! If it were not for you who read these reports and who generously contribute, Deborah and many young women like her would not have the privilege of fighting illiteracy through education. We, as well as Deborah, cannot begin to thank you enough. There is so far to go, BUT we have made so much progress.

 

Daniel Majok Gai, Executive Director of Project Education South Sudan, goes to his office each day in the town of Bor. Daniel has a cell phone and an internet connection. The internet works during the hours that the generator is running – sometimes. Weather, as well as electrical and mechanical problems, frequently disrupts communications, so Daniel has learned to work expeditiously when he has a good connection. He has a steady stream of young women coming to the door of his office, begging for financial help for school tuition and fees. The waiting list grows daily. Many of these young education starved students are from families with one or both parents missing, lost to years of war and fighting. Jobs are so scarce that even those who come from intact families seldom have the employment to support the education of their young people. Girls are usually given lower priority as students. This is changing gradually, and we are encouraged by these incremental improvements. Until the economy improves and there is more political stability, the help that comes from generous supporters in the US has immeasurable value. THANK YOU!

Links:

Jan 20, 2016

Global Giving Report January 19, 2016

Daniel, the Executive Director of Project Education South Sudan moved his young family back to South Sudan in the early fall of 2015. Daniel’s wife and two small children, along with 2 other young relatives were living in an apartment in Nairobi for a year and a half, waiting for things to calm down politically and militarily in South Sudan. Daniel was traveling back and forth from South Sudan to Nairobi so he could have time with his family while still continuing the work in the Bor area of South Sudan. Sporadic fighting between rebel and government forces finally died down enough for them to feel it was safe enough for the whole family to return to Bor. They have been there for several months, and now the town of Bor is filling back up and the surrounding villages and rural areas that Daniel serves are repopulating as well. Daniel rented an office in Bor, so that he can be more effective in the work he is doing. 

We continue our gratitude to all of you for sharing your hard earned dollars to support Daniel in his efforts to rebuild this impoverished and war-torn country. You are truly making a difference! Here are some of the recent accomplishments: 

  • Funds have been raised for two new wells at school sites to be drilled so that school kids at school can have water that is safe to drink, and to eliminate many of the intestinal diseases that keep kids from studying. The drilling of these wells has been contracted and the work will be done during this dry season (which lasts until May or June).
  • Families are returning to the Bor area, so the number of young people of school age is increasing, and so are the numbers of girls who are receiving scholarship assistance for their schooling. This program is very helpful, as there are many families who have parents who have died in the conflict or who are unemployed and do not have the money to send their kids to school. Project Education South Sudan continues its close working relationship with She’s The First on this school sponsorship program and there are several other girls who are sponsored by individuals giving directly to PESS. Sponsorship includes payment of school tuition and fees and other non-educational costs for girls who are in various schools in the Bor and Juba areas of South Sudan.
  • Listen to the goals and aspirations of some of the girls who are receiving sponsorship support from Project Education South Sudan: 

o   Grace wants a career as a doctor. She says being a doctor is a lifesaving work. “Doctors are second to God and I love to work with people, especially women and children,” 

o   Aluel wants to be a pilot. “I want to be the first female pilot in South Sudan.” She is passionate about her profession, and determined to complete at the highest educational level. 

o   Awuoi says, “I want to invent new things because our county is full of different minerals and I’m thrilled to have an engineering career.” 

  • PESS works closely with other NGOs who operate in Jonglei State, and the new office space in Bor gives Daniel the ability to interact with many of them and to better coordinate service to families in the area. PESS also works closely with the State Education Cluster to increase its effectiveness. Building community leaders and regularly meeting with them is a key part of the effort.
 
   

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