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 a relentless campaign of terror and death against their communities. The Sudanese government has officially banned all aid and media organizations from the Nuba Mountains in an attempt to cover up it’s war crimes. The deteriorating situation here has become a forgotten conflict for much of the world. Click or tap the map for a visual.
A fragile ceasefire is currently in effect in the Nuba Mountains, but many expect it not to last.
Tens of thousands of children have fled the war and genocide in the Nuba Mountains and are sitting in refugee camps where few educational services exist. Dozens of Nuba teachers have been unable to get back to work due to a lack of financial resources. This education crisis is an enormous long-term issue threatening the future of not only the Nuba people, but also all of Sudan.
Building and supporting classrooms, paying teacher salaries, and ensuring that children have access to a quality education is one of our organization's top priorities. You can watch the Endure Campaign video to see what that actually looks like on the ground:
Endure Primary School Update
Beginning in 2015 with the launch of the Endure Campaign, we began supporting four small classrooms in Yida Refugee Camp. Since then and entirely because of your fundraising and giving, this school now has ten classrooms led by twelve Nuba teachers and a principal. Every week they teach more than 700 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.
Last update, we brought you information about a bad rainstorm in Yida that severely damaged most of the classrooms at the school. Thankfully no one was hurt, but attendance was temporarily cut by roughly 40% until repairs could be made. That was the bad news. The good news is that operations at the school are already back to normal!
Our Nuba education partner has informed us that all classrooms at the Endure Primary School have been repaired! This includes the new Primary 8 classroom added earlier this year. Here is a small photo slideshow of part of the school. We apologize that the pictures are a lower quality than usual. The camera our education coordinator normally uses was not in Yida when repairs were being wrapped up:
Attendance is already back up to just over 700 students. But your fundraising and giving this year didn't just help repair the school, your efforts also helped to expand things a bit.
A simple fence, which you can see in one of the above photos, has been added around the school property. Tarps are also being added as part of the roofing one classroom at a time, which will help keep maintenance costs down during the rainy season. The school has also added a small sports program that includes a male and female soccer team and a male and female volleyball team. And there is a small student choir that tours around Yida from time to time singing traditional Nuba songs!
The school also now has an unarmed security guard and a cook/cleaner. Both were hired from the local Nuba population in Yida.
Additional Details About The School
As we mentioned above, the Endure Primary School today is very different from when it started. A Nuba teacher self-started the school underneath a tree in 2012 with zero outside support. At that point, the Sudanese government's genocidal war against the Nuba people just north across the border was barely a year old. Here is the first photo ever taken of the school in 2012:
The school's situation was desperate then, but today it is much improved. Here is a more recent photo from a few years ago when one of our media teams visited:
There is still much to work be done through the Endure Primary School in the coming months and years. While the school is one of the top performing in the area, textbooks remain a primary need at Endure, and every other school in Yida for that matter. Teachers could use some additional training, and chalkboards in roughly half of the classrooms need to be replaced.
Additionally, a curriculum change that occurred a while back transitioned the primary teaching and learning language to English, which means Arabic will have to be reintroduced back in as a seperate series of classes at some point.
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 in 2012 when it was founded. 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.
Here are a few ways you can be involved for the remainder of this year and into 2019:
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 700 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 the Endure Primary School and upcoming Renewal High School:
1. Give Monthly. This is the easiest and best way to empower the lifechanging work being done every day at the Endure Primary School and upcoming Renewal High School. Signing up takes less than a minute, and your consistent support brings sustainability to the schools. $20 a month provides a student everything they need. GIVE $20 MONTHLY »
2. Start Fundraising. You can start an online fundraising page for the Endure Primary School or upcoming Renewal High School in Yida Refugee Camp Watch. Setting up your page only takes a minute, and we have a staffer who will reach out to you with tips and guidance on how to 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.