Matthew Koang Jiing Primary School in Wanding (South-Sudan)
Our chairman Sarah Nyachan Tut visited refugee camps in Matar (Ethiopia) and Wanding (South Sudan) in January 2016. The main goal was to see with her own eyes how bad the situation really was. What is the current state of health, education and WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) facilities for the local community in Wanding?
A local NGO facilitated a medical post in Wanding, South Sudan. During the visit to the area, it appeared that there was only an empty, derelict building. No healthcare workers were operating, the community indicated that the rescuers come only for research purposes and then return to Akobo. When people from Wanding need health care, they must travel to Akobo (in Ethiopia or South Sudan), which is miles away and can only be reached by boat or by foot.
There are no schools. However, two individuals were willing to teach the children on a voluntary basis, if we could provide them with some schoolsupplies. In May of 2016, Sarah went back to South Sudan for her work and brought teaching materials, including books, notebooks, and writing materials. The teachers and children were very happy and grateful. Lessons were taught under a tree, the church building was used for storing the materials. In the same year when Sarah visited Wanding, she brought some schoolsupplies and it was great to see a large group of children being taught under a tree.
Sarah returned to the Netherlands in December 2016 and unfortunately had lost contact with Wanding, which meant that the foundation was no longer able to support them with schoolsupplies.
Support of schoolsupplies in Wanding
A new door opened in May 2019. It became possible for the foundation to send schoolsupplies to the refugee camp in Wanding. A Christian organization in Kenya, which travels to Wanding 4x a year, was prepared to take the school supplies to Wanding by helicopter. The first delivery of schoolsupplies in May 2019 brought so much hope to the community. The children were singing joyfully while receiving their textbooks, notebooks, pens and pencils. The local community wanted to name the school after Matthew Koang Jieng, the first evangelist in the region. Everywhere he went he gave Bible studies under trees, like these children are taught under the tree in Wanding.
Halfway through 2019, the foundation invited a trained teacher, Thomas Tut Gil from the Kakuma Camp in Kenya, to come to Wanding to train the volunteers and support them in setting up the classes. Upon arrival in Wanding, it turned out that the team had grown from 2 to 15 teachers and voluntarily teach 306 children. Due to the floods last year, there were no children from the other areas around Wanding, either on the South Sudanese or Ethiopian side of the Pibor River.
These developments have motivated the foundation to make education a priority in Wanding, although there is also a need for health care and clean drinking water. Unfortunately, we cannot tackle everything at the same time and it is our belief that education is a path to independence. It is not our goal to make the community dependent on our help, but to support them to be resilient and selfsufficient. We hope for your understanding and your support through donations so that we can build a school building in the future and provide support with quality education.