In collaboration, three former Lost Boys of Sudan - James Lubo Mijak of North Carolina, Ngor Kur Mayol of Georgia, and James Manyror of Colorado - are working with support of Mothering Across Continents to manage model schools serving home villages. Funds will be used for uniforms, teacher stipends, meals and scholarships at two schools with 300-plus children from three villages. Education and literacy in Unity State rank among the lowest in South Sudan, the world's most fragile country.
In Unity State 10% of children are orphans. Only 2% of boys and 1% of girls typically graduate from primary schools due to a historical lack of schools, trained teachers, books and school supplies. 74% of teenagers are illiterate. Large, global nonprofits concentrate efforts on emergency relief, refugee camps and transitional shelter. Support for education and literacy in former Lost Boys' home villages must come from caring individuals, schools, churches and civic groups.
Previous donations led to the construction of the first permanent primary school in Nyarweng Village and semi-permanent construction of a primary school called Gumriak in Pariang Town. A group of children from Aliap Village are registered to attend Gumriak school beginning March 2015 (if scholarships are funded). Uniforms, teachers, meals and school materials will ensure that the schools become sustainable. The unique collaboration promotes collective resource buying and best practices sharing.
Research demonstrates across communities and countries that there is a relationship between recovery and renewal from conflict and the presence of strong schools. Yet, education is extremely underfunded vs. other development. Already, on limited resources, students at one of the schools is achieving the highest national exam scores in the county. This project will demonstrate the value of schools and establishing a learning discipline in even the most underserved regions of the country.