I’ve been traveling to South Sudan for more than a decade, first to support Dr. Jill Seaman in her lifesaving work in Old Fangak village, then rehabilitating an abandoned building to become a gathering hall for a women’s association, and establishing the Old Fangak Community School serving grades K-8 and adults. About a year ago, I brought the project under nonprofit Mothering Across Continents (MAC). We continue to call the whole effort “Women at the Center,” reflecting my original dream and commitment to empower local women and girls with learning and leadership opportunities in the Old Fangak community. Today, I’m writing with an update timed with this month’s (July) National Girls Day celebration in South Sudan. Read on, please, all the way through a special request (and opportunity) at the end!
Education for ALL,
Many women in Old Fangak speak with regret of attitudes that keep girls at home. So, it's our policy that girls represent nearly 40 percent of 1,000+ students at Old Fangak Community School. Local women volunteer at the school, for instance, making improvements to counter rainy season flooding. In return, we have a new fund to help women open businesses. The first proposal is for a restaurant inspired by a volunteer who is committed to young women completing high school.
Women as Collaborators, Too
Sr. Barbara Paleczny of Solidarity with South Sudan and Sisters of Notre Dame is one of our most inspiring partners. She introduced a teacher training program that certified many teachers at Old Fangak Community School. “Sr. B” and the Mothering Across Continents team co-developed an Early Childhood Development training guide. The first edition on Printing, Phonics, Numbers and Reading goes to print this month. Our teachers will be trained to use it, and we hope to sell copies to other schools. (Call it Social Enterprise!)
Special Need, Special Request to You from Us
I love supporting women and children in South Sudan. I’m grateful for the project management of Mothering Across Continents Exec. Dir. Patricia Shafer. Her support means I can make a difference while enjoying "golden" time with husband Carl, my children, and grandbabies. I hope people with caring hearts will join in with confidence, knowing that donations are tax-deductible and well-managed. Right now, we are adding three classrooms. Each needs 15 three-seater desks ($150 each). The names of donors will go right on them.
It’s easy to contribute through the link below, or by check.