In 2011 the Republic of South Sudan became the world’s newest country. However after more than 40 years of war and turmoil in the region, educational opportunities are extremely limited. Adult literacy stands at a mere 27%, while only 30% of children have attended some form of primary school. Only 1% of all South Sudanese students make it past high school.
Isalaro is a village located 5 miles outside of the city of Torit, the state capital of Eastern Equatoria State. The closest school for the thousands of children in the region is nearly 9 miles away in Torit, too far for most to walk.
The village of Isalaro donated 250 acres to the ETE foundation to build a multi-use school complex. The Isalaro School will be an innovative community center that will holistically address the needs of the women and children in the region. Upon its completion it will help empower the women and children of the local community by improving access in three key areas:
Education: Lower primary for grades K-4, upper primary for grades 5-8 (to be built in the 2nd phase), housing for teachers.
Health: Water well, water purification system developed to provide clean water for the students and surrounding community, medical clinic.
Community Involvement: Multi-purpose building that will house the auditorium, cafeteria, gymnasium, adult education and community meeting place, sustainable garden, athletic fields.
The ETE Foundation was founded by the “lost girls” of Sudan (read more about us here) and as such, has always placed significance on educating the women and girls of South Sudan. Girls are typically underrepresented in schools across South Sudan. They face their own set of unique challenges including familial expectations, child marriages, and sexual assault.
The Isalaro School will address the specific issues faced by the girls in the region by providing sanitary pads, safe spaces for them during the day, access to medical care and financial assistance for girls’ tuition.
In the evenings, the school will provide vocational training for the elder women of Isalaro. Courses will include sewing, computers, literacy, and English. There will also be assistance for starting small businesses, and courses in life skills like caring for sick children.
The ETE Foundation is already working to educate the children of Isalaro. In 2014 our trained teachers began informally teaching “under the mango tree” (quite literally) on the site of the future school. We now have 7 teachers and 275 students daily, ranging in age from 5 to 14.
We need help from our supporters to raise the money to build the first phase of the project. Please donate today!