Education opens doors, widens a person’s world view, gives the opportunity for a better life, and most importantly unlocks Scripture. Education is also one of the largest needs in South Sudan. The literacy rate in South Sudan is 27% and women’s literacy is only 16% (CIA Factbook). Only one in four South Sudanese over the age of 15 can read and write and only one in six women can read and write. While there are a few primary schools in the area, there isn’t a high school in Mabaan County. Nevertheless the need is huge, especially with the recent influx of refugees.
Last year, SIM closed the only high school in the Yabus area (now part of Sudan) because of insecurity. This school is reopening in Doro. Many former Yabus students are among the incoming refugees. These students easily obtained jobs for Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in the area, reinforcing the value of education. They have seen firsthand the opportunities that education can afford.
An SIM couple from India serves as project manager for the school. Their team includes a builder and head teacher from Kenya as well as teachers from Australia and India. Recently authorities finalized the necessary paperwork registering the school with the South Sudanese government. The first stage of construction should be finished in the next couple months. The students are excited to continue their studies when the school reopens in February 2013. SIM is excited to play a part in training and educating future leaders of this country.