Since Sudanese refugees’ collective plea for education in 2006, Africa ELI has worked hard to educate a new generation of South Sudanese leaders. Significant milestones include:
- Graduation of Africa ELI’s inaugural class: 54 students graduated in Dec 2011!
- Successful programs and support for 11 schools throughout South Sudan.
- South Sudan becomes the world’s newest nation: our students take part in the celebration of this incredible milestone.
- Africa ELI established as a 501(c)3 charitable organization.
- Sudanese Diaspora members and American friends begin raising awareness about the need for secondary schools and teachers in South Sudan.
- A professor’s small office in Vermont becomes the Africa ELI headquarters.
- American workers go to Uganda and South Sudan to help local communities build new schools.
- The World Bank gives Africa ELI a Development Marketplace Award to begin work.
- Lainya County in South Sudan selected as the site for the first Africa ELI school.
- Africa ELI hires more than 70 local Sudanese laborers to build a dining hall, kitchen, health clinic, staff community room, student living quarters, and classrooms.
- Girls Rising scholarship campaign launches to increase education access for marginalized girls.
- Africa ELI’s first school opens with a ritual blessing celebration. 18 students, 4 teachers, international friends representing 9 countries (including United Nations peacekeepers), and more than 150 local villagers attend.
- Math, biology, chemistry, physics, agriculture, geography, health, commerce, English, and history classes begin. The national syllabus also incorporates a compulsory class of Christian Religious Education.
- 76 students and 5 teachers finish their first school year with Africa ELI.
- Security and land issues prompt a move to Yei Town.
- Africa ELI organizes a public-private partnership Yei Girls Boarding School.
- UNICEF makes Africa ELI an implementing partner for its Girls’ Education Movement. Africa ELI begins working in 6 more public schools, serving more than 1,000 new students.
- The year concludes with 100 fully-sponsored students. The new school has a garden, rabbit projects, radio debates, sports, and health and drama drama clubs. Quality Programs to improve student retention begin. Holiday School starts between terms to offer students even more opportunities to learn.
- Africa ELI reorganizes operations and staff, establishing a headquarters in Yei.
- Programs expand to include Warrap state.
- The Morchinkegem Academic & Sports Scholarship campaign launches during SUPRAID’s Sports for Peace Twic Olympics.
- Over 200 students (including 10% boys) are fully-sponsored from 4 of the 10 states in South Sudan and the Abyei border region.