Here is the latest update from our friends at Sudan Sunrise. Read to the bottom where we’ve highlighted!
September 30, 2011
Dear friends of Sudan Sunrise,
Our June – July relief and reconciliation mission, facilitating Arab spring Northerners bringing aid to Abyei refugees and the most needy in Turalei, was a great success. Next month I will be able to share with you a half-hour news feature on this heroic initiative.But, I want to update you on several developments:
1. Turalei – This week I had great news from Victor, the headmaster, that the County Commissioner provided heavy equipment to dig ditches and a pond for water runoff, so that the swampy conditions of the school grounds during rainy season have been remedied! Also, Franklin Electric has sent a water expert from South Africa to improve the clean water system at the school. Enrollment has grown from 340 to 740 in the past few months, and the system will amply serve the needs of the school.
When I was visiting the school in April and again in July, I was troubled to see a significant percentage of the children showing signs of malnutrition. The food for the school lunches is provided by the World Food Program, but the school currently depends on Sudan Sunrise to provide salaries for the cooking staff, guard, etc., which makes the free lunches possible. The cost of the lunch program has increased 281 percent due to the increased enrollment (seven cooks and one guard cost $1,550.00 per month).
2. The Rev. Daniel Deng Kuot and his wife Rebecca have exciting news with the birth of their daughter, Malang Deng Kuot, in Nairobi. Daniel will soon move his little family to Juba, where he will base his work as field coordinator for Sudan Sunrise.
3. Two years ago Francis Bok took a field director from the Norwegian Refugee Council to his home town to discuss collaboration on the construction of the Gor Ayen Primary School. The Norwegian Refugee Council has just completed an 8 classroom school in Gor Ayen! In the past few months the school has grown to over 1,000 students because of the great influx of Southern Sudanese returning home from the North prior to the July 9th independence of South Sudan.
The school has many needs. The greatest need is potable water. The village’s two hand-pump wells are no longer functioning, leaving the increased population to depend on either rain water or river water. We are working urgently to help the village get these pumps working and to address the other priority needs of the school.
4. I highly recommend to you Jordan Conn’s recent electronic book on Manute Bol, especially the IPOD version that is loaded with multi-media extras. It’s short, a great read, and tells the story behind the Turalei school and the origin of the saying “my bad”! http://atavist.net/defender/
5. Bishop Abraham Nhial, the subject of the book “Lost Boy No More”, and the first (and only!) Lost Boy to become a bishop, will be arriving in the US on September 26th, to raise partners for his vision of a secondary school for girls in Aweil. A recent UNESCO report estimated that there are only 400 girls in all of South Sudan in their final year of high school. If you would like to speak or meet with Abraham during his time in the US please contact Janis Ricker at the Sudan Sunrise office.
One of the most inspiring parts of our work is our partnership with remarkable people such as the Sudanese Northerners who were ready to put their lives at risk to get help to the Southern Sudanese in desperate need of food. Special mention should be made of 8-year old Josiah Bertou who, along with his family and friends, has been doing all he can for Manute’s school effort. Recently, Josiah and Friends organized a miniature golf effort and raised $379, and one of his friends, Abel Austin, raised $11.85 at his lemonade stand! So far Josiah and Friends have raised $4,302 to build schools in South Sudan!
Thank you for your role in helping make all this progress possible.
With gratitude and best wishes,