Keeping the Faith

Loreto Schools Continues Transforming Lives through Education, Remains out of Harm’s Way from Unrest in Sudan

Loreto Schools in Rumbek continues to make strides for education in a country where attendance has historically been among the worst in the world, and girls have widely been denied the chance to go to school.

The Loreto School for Girls is a pioneering force in girls’ education, and the Loreto campus also offers co-ed schooling at the kindergarten, primary, and secondary levels, consistently turning out some of the highest test scores in the nation. Principal, Sister Orla Treacy, directs the schools, along with a health clinic that serves both the campus and the surrounding community.

Vice Presidential Visit

Last month the girls of Loreto School had the opportunity to greet the nation’s Vice President, Hussein Abdulbaki, when they were invited to attend a reception held in honor of his visit to their state. The vice president spoke from Freedom Square where many political leaders and local people gathered to hear his message.

While political factions remain largely divided in South Sudan, many of its citizens long for unity and peace. On this theme, the elementary students at Loreto recently held a mock election, giving them a chance to learn about voting, democracy, and leadership. Sometimes change begins at the grassroots level, and Loreto Schools continues to be a force to promote peace and unity to its students, who come together from all tribes and regions of the country simply as “South Sudanese.”

Paying It Forward

Part of Loreto School’s lifechanging work is preparing young women to achieve higher education, and some go on to earn degrees at the university level. The school’s mission comes to fruition as graduates return to their home communities to share what they’ve learned, using their skills in service and leadership to others.

This month three young women who completed their university studies returned to Loreto to work in the health clinic on campus. The clinic not only serves the needs of students and staff, but also conducts vital outreach services to the community. The facility was instrumental during COVID when most of the country’s healthcare facilities shut down, remaining in operation to serve thousands. With their arrival, three of the five staff members who manage the clinic are now female alumnae from Loreto School for Girls, who completed college studies.

Staying Safe

Sister Orla reports that the students and staff are currently safe despite the fighting to the north in Sudan, although she expects they will begin to feel effects of the war soon. Please keep Loreto Schools in your prayers, along with the many affected by fallout from the ongoing violence that began several weeks ago in Sudan’s capital, and has since sparked waves of refugees fleeing to South Sudan.