Educating Children to Build a Better
Future for South Sudan
While education is recognized as a natural right for children in developed nations, a tragic number of children in South Sudan don’t have access to regular schooling.
A history of war, displacement, and poverty has long been an obstacle for children to attend school in this nation. It’s estimated 70 percent of the country’s children are not enrolled on a consistent basis. As a result, South Sudan has one of the worst literacy rates worldwide.
For some students, the distance to a school is too great to travel, or the route unsafe. In impoverished households, children may be kept at home to help with work. Many are unable to pay for tuition fees and uniforms. For girls, the challenge is even greater, living in a country where girls’ education has long been viewed as unnecessary. Only one in ten girls completes primary school.
Another challenge is a drastic shortage of qualified teachers in South Sudan, as well as dilapidated school buildings damaged by violence or natural disaster. It is not uncommon to see children sit under trees while adults conduct their instruction outside.
Sudan Relief Fund understands education is a key to empower future generations and stop the cycle of poverty. Through donors and partnerships, we build or support primary and secondary schools across South Sudan, from towns to countrysides to refugee camps.
Sudan Relief Fund also supports meal programs and clean water sources to bolster a school’s success. Hungry, malnourished, or dehydrated children cannot be successful students. For many children here, the meal they receive at school is the only one they eat all day.
Following are some highlights of the dozens of primary schools and high schools Sudan Relief Fund supports across South Sudan.
Loreto School for Girls is turning the tide on the stigma against girls’ education in South Sudan. This pioneering facility in Rumbek produces students with top scores and sends more graduates on to colleges and universities each year. The school also offers healthcare support to the local community through its health clinic on campus.
Bishop Abangite College of Science and Technology serves over one thousand high school students in Yambio. In addition to core academics, the school is one of the rare environments in South Sudan teaching values of unity and respect for differences – a critical message for a historically divided nation. In partnership with donors, Sudan Relief Fund was able to construct a block of four additional classrooms to accommodate the burgeoning school population, and expand the curriculum to provide quality education for many more youths.
Our Lady of Assumption School was built from the war torn ashes of Rimenze, following years of civil war and unrest that left only shells of buildings and thousands of children with nowhere to go. Sudan Relief Fund partnered with the Brothers of Christian Instruction who run the school to expand classroom and dormitory space. The school is described as “an oasis in an area clearly in need of one.” The place of instruction also serves a large orphan population, in which the school literally becomes the orphaned children’s home where they live and study.
Recognizing that access to higher education is essential to building a successful future for this country, Sudan Relief Fund also supports college programs throughout South Sudan.
The Catholic Health Training Institute (CHTI) in Wau is training students to become certified nurses and midwives, to meet the drastic need for more skilled medical assistants across South Sudan.
The Solidarity Teacher Training College in Yambio is fighting the shortage of educators by raising up more teachers to serve in critically needed and underserved areas of the country.
St. Paul Seminary of Juba prepares young adults for a life of faith and service through the priesthood. These young priests promote a message of peace and reconciliation in their communities, serving as leaders, encouragers, and living examples of harmony in a fractured nation.
Catholic University of South Sudan in Juba serves as a vital institution of higher learning. Since its founding in 2008, enrollment soared from 40 initial students to nearly two thousand today. The university offers curricula in Economics, Business, Education, Arts, Social Sciences, Agriculture, and Computer Science. A foundational tenet of the school is to prepare graduates to succeed in a global marketplace as well as equip them to become men and women of good character. The school’s motto is based in the Bible verse, John 8:32, “The truth will set you free.” None of this work could be done without our partners and supporters. Thank you for making it possible to share the essential gift of education, that reaps so many benefits in the lives of individual children, and builds a more promising future for the nation of South Sudan.