Isaac Khor Bher
Lee Ann Huntington
Denise Pearson, PhD
Panther Abuk Kuol
Daniel Majok Gai
Isaac Khor Bher
Daniel Majok Gai
Sudanese Advisory Council
Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver
DID YOU KNOW...
This is how your donation to Project Education Sudan can assist in providing children and adults in Sudan for for a better future:
$50-Provides a two student desk
$50-Provides school uniform & shoes
$75-Provides a bunk bed for dorm
$100-Funds a student for one year
$150-Pays a teacher's salary for one month
$500-½-year school supplies for 600 students
$1,500-Provides a teacher's salary for one year
$1,500-Provide a brick making machine
$1,800-Funds ten students for one year
$1,800-Purchases a grinding mill to free-up girls to attend school
$12,000-Funds a well to provide clean water
$25,000-Funds one classroom
Won't you PLEASE
Monday, April 20, 6-8 pm, PES Educational Evening@ The Women's College, DU
Art & Artifacts - Save The Date - Septmeber 26, 2009
3rd Annual Photographic Exhibit and Fundraiser - Salida - September 12-13, 2009
See our contribution to Exhibit Darfur
that will be traveling in several US cities, to include Denver
HELP US NAME OUR NEWSLETTER
In launching our first Quarterly e-Newsletter, we are would like to hear from you as part of our community of friends, supporters and donors.
"Name the Newsletter" contest! Send in your suggestions from now until our May 15th deadline to:
Staff Writers |
Journey of Hope 2009 by Alyssa Om'Iniabohs
PES board members, Rich and Carol Rinehart, Isaac Khor Bher and Daniel Majok Gai along with volunteer Mary Shippy, made the annual PES assessment and monitoring trip to southern Sudan December 13 - January 14, 2009. We are very excited to report that this past trip was enormously successful in terms of making significant connections with the Government of Southern Sudan's Ministry of Education and training PES field coordinators at three school sites.
We entered southern Sudan through Juba this year. When we arrived, we were informed that President Omar al-Bashir might be indicted by the International Criminal Court. We were advised to wait and see what would unfold. The humanitarian aid agencies in southern Sudan have not been expelled and they are working without interference. Because of this, we were able to continue with our plans and registered with the Southern Sudan Relief and Rehabilitation Commission as an official NGO. This new status as an NGO in Sudan creates opportunities for partnering with international NGO's such as Save the Children, CARE, Catholic Relief Services and UNICEF.
While in Juba, we met with the Government of Southern Sudan Undersecretary of Education, William Ater Maciek. He was very supportive of our working with village communities and creating self-sufficiency through education.
Journeying into the interior on dirt roads rutted from heavy flooding, we met our friends from the village of Pagook.
We celebrated Christmas at midnight in a mud and thatch church. During the "dry" season, there is ritual cattle raiding by the neighboring Murle tribe, and to make sure all 600 women, children and men in the church were safe, we had our "guardian angels" to protect us surrounding the village. Luckily, we had no problems as we sang and drummed in the Christmas season!
We met with the village leaders and elders of Pagook, Konbek and Maar to assess the various stages of construction on all three PES schools. What we heard at all three community meetings was concern about the economic downturn in the U.S. and the impact on impoverished rural areas such as theirs. The elders are willing to do their part by providing local labor to help build the schools and providing teachers who often teach without pay. They asked PES to please help fulfill the need for continued construction of more classrooms, dormitories, kitchens, latrines, showers and libraries for each school.
Jonglei Hope Secondary Academy in Maar opened in March as a day school for 50-plus students with a new kitchen funded by LARABAR. The next step needed is a boys and girls dormitory. Marc Nikkel Primary School in Maar is rebuilding two new classrooms funded by our partner, the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis. Ayak Anguei Girls Primary Boarding School in Konbek has become the premier girls' school in the area with an enrollment of over 600. Two more classrooms were completed, making a total of four permanent and six temporary classrooms. The next step at Ayak is also dormitories-the girls currently sleep on the floor of the classrooms at night, making them vulnerable to dangerous snake and scorpion bites. We assessed all three PES-drilled water wells and inspected all five grinding mills operating as women-run businesses, which allow girls and women free time to attend school. We also delivered another cinderblock making machine and completed negotiations and started construction of two classrooms at Pagook Secondary School.
The PES team was also able to meet with the teachers from all three schools and do an assessment of the PES teacher training that we conducted in April 2008. The teachers shared that they have been able to use some of the strategies that were taught during last year's trainings. All of the teachers requested a longer teacher-training program of two to three months, teacher-to-teacher training for one month during their school holiday and then in-class teacher mentoring for an additional one to two months. The PES Education Committee is researching how to leverage existing NGOs in southern Sudan to provide and/or assist with the needed training.
We made a special effort this year to listen to the women's healthcare concerns, the young girls' hopes and dreams for their future and conducted basic healthcare assessments for future health clinics. Our PES field personnel are now set up with digital cameras and LARABAR donated laptops! We taught accounting and quarterly field reporting to very capable and trusted field coordinators. Since our return, we have received two field reports complete with photos on the progress of construction.
The children of Maar, Konbek and Pagook, thank all our donors and friends for your willingness to continue to help fulfill their dreams of a school and an education that will change their lives.
Carol Rinehart Isaac Khor Bher
Executive Director Vice President, Co-Founder
New Partnership By Emily Broyles
Project Education Sudan is very excited to announce its new partnership with The Women's College of the University of Denver. Through an introduction by Dr. Denise Pearson, PES Board member, The Women's College (womenscollege.du.edu) is now a sister school to the Ayak Anguei Girls Primary School in the Bor area of southern Sudan. Ayak Anguei serves more than 600 Sudanese girls, and is located in the hometown of Isaac Khor Bher, vice president and co-founder of Project Education Sudan.
The Project and The Women's College presented this wonderful partnership to the Denver community on February 28th at the event Girls & Women of Sudan: In Pursuit of Education. This inaugural event brought together members of the Sudanese, University of Denver, and Project Education Sudan communities to discuss the hopes and challenges of educating girls in Sudan. Carol Rinehart, Executive Director of PES, dedicated the evening's event to the students of Ayak Anguei Girls School and The Women's College in honor of their new relationship. Dean Lynn Gangone from The Women's College spoke about the commitment and excitement of the students and staff to have a new opportunity to make a difference in women's education at an international level.
The Colorado Chapter of the Bor Women's Association, a local nonprofit created by Sudanese women in Denver, elected an elder, Kot Bior, to make remarks on behalf of the Sudanese women about the importance of girls' education. Speaking through a translator, Bior painted a heartwarming picture of the passion girls have in Sudan to make their lives better through an education, even against incredible odds. Guests at the event got to enjoy fresh homemade Sudanese cuisine prepared by members of the Bor Women's Association. The Girls & Women of Sudan: In Pursuit of Education event celebrated the end of a six-week photo exhibit at The Women's College, and sales of the professionally framed images from recent trips raised over $3,000 for the Ayak Anguei School.
Like Project Education Sudan, The Women's College is buzzing about this new sister school partnership. Dr. Carol Zak-Dance sees it as an opportunity to build an international support system. "Our students at The Women's College face a variety of complications and interruptions on their paths to earning an undergraduate degree. While the Sudanese girls and women often confront more life threatening obstacles, they can look to their Denver sisters as examples of perseverance and success." Dr. Zak-Dance believes that her students are passionate about expanding their experiences to other females and that the message they want to send to their African counterparts is one of sisterhood and empowerment.
The incredible students and staff have wasted no time in reaching out to the girls of Ayak Anguei. Student Ling Richardson, Chair of the Business Minded Women student
group, has spearheaded the "Book Packs and Panties" campaign. This campaign will send both a concrete and figurative message of sisterhood. Book packs with The Women's College and Ayak Anguei logos, including the Dinka tribal word for sisterhood, "Nyankei," will be filled with essential panties for the girls and will be shipped to the students. These book packs will also be sold to students at The Women's College as a symbol of solidarity, with all proceeds going to Ayak Anguei. Ms. Richardson, Dr. Zak-Dance and the five other members of the committee are excited that enough backpacks will be ordered for every student at Ayak Anguei, and that local charitable organizations have donated materials to make this possible.
The sister school partnership with The Women's College marks a groundbreaking step for Project Education Sudan's outreach in both the Denver and Sudanese communities. We would like to deeply thank all the students and staff that have helped cultivate this incredible environment for international friendship and sisterhood.
Volunteer Spotlight By Anna Smith
It isn't every day that we find our calling and are able to pursue our dreams. Sometimes it takes years to understand where we really belong in the grand scheme of things. Not so for Emily Broyles. Thanks to her volunteer work with Project Education Sudan, she has discovered that she has a knack for teaching and has been accepted into the Teach for America program in the Denver Public Schools starting next fall.
For Emily, this road of self-discovery started back in 2006 when she first became involved with the Lost Boys at St. John's Cathedral. Intrigued by the Lost Boys, she began forging friendships with them. Soon after that, she became Project Education Sudan's very first intern. She found herself working closely with Carol Rinehart as head of the Adult Education Committee. Although Emily had no formal teacher training, her role was a natural fit for her capacity to teach. She diligently designed curriculum and assessment tools for Project Education Sudan to implement during their 2008 trip to Southern Sudan.
"Because of the war, there are so many adults that never had an opportunity for education. It was very heartwarming to see how badly they wanted to learn. They put so much of themselves and time and effort into getting a chance to learn," she recounts. "Some of the women I taught had never held a pencil before, and many were not good at reading. It was challenging to teach because we were working with women who were even less literate than we thought they would be." Despite the inherent challenges, Emily says that the absolute best reward was when she saw a sense of accomplishment in the women's eyes and the self-esteem the women got out of learning.
Now back in Denver, Emily continues to volunteer with Project Education Sudan by co-chairing the Communications Committee. "One of my favorite parts about volunteering with PES is that I feel very connected to an international community, which is rare to find in Denver because it is landlocked and slightly remote. I get to meet people from other cultures on a daily basis and I get to work with them on an international stage," she said.
Anyone considering volunteering should know that "PES has so much heart and such a family around it-both between American and Sudanese communities. It's a very unique experience where you actually get to hang out with Sudanese people. In other organizations, you don't get to be so close to the people who you are helping," said Emily. "There really is so much hope because many of our projects are so new and promising. The Sudanese people are hopeful about what PES is doing and how it's going to better their lives."