In 2015, Operation Broken Silence launched the Endure Campaign, a fundraising movement focused on sponsoring the Endure Primary School in Yida Refugee Camp, South Sudan. This is an update on how your fundraising and giving is leading to real results at this special school.
People in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan have been living in emergency conditions since June of 2011, when the government of Sudan launched another genocidal war against their communities. The Bashir regime has officially banned all aid and media organizations from the Nuba Mountains in an attempt to cover up their war crimes.
A fragile ceasefire is barely holding together in the Nuba Mountains. There are recent reports of targeted government attacks in a few frontline areas, as well as an uptick in government warplanes flying overhead and troop buildups in government-controlled areas. While no actual aerial bombing has occurred, these bomber flights do disrupt daily life at farms, schools, and markets since people do not know if the area they are in is about to be targeted or not.
Just south of the Nuba Mountains is Yida Refugee Camp, which sits a few miles inside of South Sudan's northern border. Yida is one the primary places displaced and persecuted Nuba civilians have fled to over the past several years. Current estimates place Yida's annual population, which can fluctuate quite a bit, between 50,000-60,000 people.
One of the largest demographics in Yida is children under the age of 14. Despite this reality, there are only a handful of schools in Yida that receive little to no outside assistance. This has sparked a deepening education crisis that is threatening the next generation of Nuba leaders and their futures.
Building and supporting classrooms, paying teacher salaries, and ensuring that children have access to a free education is one of our organization's top priorities. You can watch the campaign video for The Endure Primary School to see what this actually looks like on the ground:
Endure Primary School Update
Beginning in 2015 with the launch of the Endure Campaign, Operation Broken Silence began supporting four small classrooms in Yida Refugee Camp that were on the verge of closing. Since then and entirely because of your fundraising and giving, this school now has ten classrooms led by twelve Nuba teachers, a principal, and two support staff. Every week they teach more than 800 students who have fled from the Nuba Mountains. Some of these children have lost their parents or been separated from them due to the Sudanese government's war, so the school is the only structured place in their lives.
Operations at the school continue to go well! A few weeks ago, 97% of P8 students passed a required exam, which means the school remains one of the top-performing in the area.
The school's new, small sports program that includes male and female soccer teams and male and female volleyball teams continues to run well. Games regularly draw in small crowds from the surrounding community in Yida. And the small student choir at the school continues to tour around Yida from time to time singing traditional Nuba songs. Here are a few recent photos from the school:
Additional Needs At Endure Primary
We've been talking quite a bit about the new high school that our education partner has soft-opened in Yida with our support; however, there are still some needs that are unmet at Endure Primary. This includes new chalkboards to replace aging ones in roughly half of all classrooms. More tarps are needed as well to help prevent weather damage during the rainy season. The security fence that started getting added in earlier this year is still incomplete and requires extra funding.
While Endure Primary is one of the top performing in the area, textbooks remain a huge need at the school, and every other school in Yida for that matter. A curriculum change that occurred a while back transitioned the primary teaching and learning language to English for schools in Yida, which means Arabic will have to be reintroduced back in as a seperate series of classes at some point. And newer teachers are in need of some additional training so they can better serve their students.
Progress rarely occurs in Sudan overnight; however, becuase of your fundraising and giving the past several years, the Endure Primary School is in a much better place today than it was when we first met our Nuba education partner. The teachers and students have taken your support seriously and made it what it is today. On behalf of them, our Nuba education partner, and our small staff, thank you for joining us on this journey.
The Endure Primary School in Yida Refugee Camp is one of the few high-impact schools serving Nuba students in need. Without this critical Nuba-led institution, over 800 more children would be without access to a classroom each year. Many of the students at the school are orphaned or don't know where their parents are, making the school one of the only structured places in their life.
Here are three effective ways you can help support the teachers and students at Endure Primary:
1. Give Monthly. Setting up an automatic monthly gift is the easiest way to empower the teachers and students at the Endure Primary School in Yida Refugee Camp. We need 75 more supporters to give at least $20 a month. And if you want to be even more awesome, when you sign up to give $25 a month you get free tickets to our annual Gala and 5K events here in Memphis! LEARN MORE »
2. Start Fundraising. You can start an online fundraising page for the Endure Primary School! Setting up your page only takes a minute, and then you can ask friends and family to donate. BECOME A FUNDRAISER »
3. Make A Donation. If you're not ready to give monthly or start a fundraising page, making a one-time donation to the school is the perfect next step for you. GIVE HERE »
Mark began working on Sudan issues in 2007 after an eye-opening conversation with a genocide survivor from Darfur, Sudan. Since 2011 he has overseen the steady growth of our organization. Today he serves as our Executive Director.
Mark makes sure our on the ground programs stay on the rails and that our movement remains focused on our end goal of closing our doors one day. He’s one of only a few Americans to have visited frontline areas in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan during the war.