The thought of building a country of 12 million people from the ground up is daunting. Where do you begin? With no infra-structure (sewer systems or electric power grid), the task is utopian.
Knowing that knowledge is the basic building block that is at the beginning of everything, and realizing that no advanced educational institutions exist in the entire country of South Sudan, we at empowerkids South Sudan have sponsored a number of very bright young men and women who graduated from secondary school with very high exam grades to attend Bridge2Rwanda in Kigale, Rwanda.
Bridge2Rwanda currently educates 40 students for 10 months, focused solely upon English, mathematics, and science. The intent: to prepare these students to succeed
in gaining full scholarships into some of the finest colleges and universities in the world. The hope: these students will return to South Sudan, with excellent university educations, prepared to help build a brighter South Sudan.
As we know, water is a very fundamental element for life on Earth. While having clean drinking water is something all of us take for granted, this is not the case for the people living in South Sudan.
Instead, people walk for miles with buckets and pots upon their heads to fetch water. Every day. Of every week. Once they return to their dwelling, they must then boil the water before it can be consumed.
It was with this in mind that empowerkids South Sudan agreed to fund a major water well in Nimule, South Sudan. When completed, this well will produce 20,000 liters of water per day.
Nimule Model Secondary School
Electricity is non-existent in the schools of South Sudan. Teaching depends upon the morning sunlight to start the day—and continues until the sun sets that afternoon. In an effort to bring lights into classrooms in South Sudan, we selected Nimule Model Secondary School as our first target. NMSS currently has nearly 400 young boys and girls attending 7th–12th grade classes.
Now that we have electricity at this school, our next step will see 10 brand-new computers installed into a secure Computer Lab, once reliable broad band reception becomes available. Once this is completed, NMSS will be able to connect with institutions like Arizona State University’s SkySong distance learning platform as we strive to provide 21st century content for their course offerings.
Juba Girl’s School
Our next target is Juba Girl’s School, situated in the Capital of South Sudan. With over 750 young ladies attending this well-respected secondary school, we will solarize their six buildings, to be followed with 25 new computers with the same expectations as Nimule: getting connected to the internet so that they can begin accessing websites like ASU’s for course content.
South Sudan’s educational system was disrupted dramatically, beginning in the 1950’s when civil war erupted. This civil war continued for decades, during which time meaningful energy and capital into the basic components any civil society delivers to the populace—including education—were limited at best. Naturally, the lack of meaningful across-the-board outcomes were quite predictable.
In an effort to help jump-start South Sudan’s capacity to deliver higher-quality outcomes from their educational system, we at empowerkidsSouthSudan funded 13 South Sudanese teachers (plus 1 from Rwanda) from both public and private schools for one semester at Arizona State University in Phoenix where they were exposed to 21st century teaching techniques.