We’ve written about the crisis of 2016-2017 in which fighting between armed factions impacted the Yei region of South Sudan. We described how our students were displaced and their classroom education abruptly disrupted.
In response, our work temporarily shifted from that of educational development to meeting basic humanitarian needs. The majority of students were relocated to Uganda for safety, and were enrolled in 13 established and stable secondary schools where they were given shelter, water, and food. We equipped them with new school uniforms, classroom supplies, and necessary personal items. We moved as quickly as possible to reinstate a normal routine for the girls.
With the situation in South Sudan still unsettled, it is necessary to continue supporting our South Sudanese girls in Uganda for 2018. We also believe it is time to pivot from the temporary humanitarian mission back to developing and integrating extracurricular programming.
Our approach has always been a holistic one, combining classroom curriculum with other key programming such as life-skills training, social awareness, health education, leadership development, and support for locally-run schools and teachers. This is at the core of our mission and our philosophy. We are gearing up to begin the re-implementation of such vital programming.
Currently, we are in the process of establishing partnerships with the schools where our students will be enrolled for the 2018 academic year starting in February. After conferring with our students last month, we have set a goal for all Africa ELI sponsored students to be reunited in one, possibly two, secondary schools in Uganda. In the coming weeks, we will be announcing our partnerships and progress through social media and in our weekly Saturday email messages.
By providing access to education, Africa ELI prepares young women in South Sudan to become leaders in their families and communities, engage in business enterprise, counteract inequalities, improve health practices, and work toward improving society for the benefit of all citizens.
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