In 2018, Operation Broken Silence launched the Stand For Education Campaign, a fundraising movement focused on building the Renewal High School in Yida Refugee Camp, South Sudan. This marks the first update concerning the high school and is about how your fundraising and giving has put plans ahead of schedule.
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 their 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 not nearly enough educational services exist. Dozens of Nuba teachers have been unable to get back to work due to a lack of financial resources. Those that are working lack basic classroom items. 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 free education is one of our organization's top priorities. You can watch the Stand For Education campaign video to see what that actually looks like on the ground:
To date, 91 fundraisers, 232 donors, and 2 monthly recurring donors have worked together to fund the startup costs of The Renewal High School. Almost $15,000 has been raised and given already!
Construction on six classrooms, two teacher offices, and one library will begin in January 2019. This will make up the core of the school. More classrooms, a small lab, and one lecture hall are slated to be built between 2020-2022. Classroom walls will be made out of the traditional un-fired bricks that are common throughout Yida. It's nothing glamorous, but it gets the job done. The lecture hall can also be used as a space for teacher and community training needs in the future.
Materials that cannot be obtained in Yida are currently being procured in Juba and Kampala. This includes a small solar system, a computer and printer, tarps for roofing, cement, teacher guides and teacher textbooks, chalkboards, and more.
The school will be phased into existence, similar to how we have grown and supported the Endure Primary School in Yida. When The Renewal High School opens in 2019, the plan is for most components of the first three grades to be included. The final grade is slated to be added in 2020 as additional classrooms and materials are added. This phased approach also spreads out the fundraising burden on our organization, as well as provides our education coordinator additional time to work out kinks and additional teacher training needs at the school.
There is certainly a lot of work and long road ahead, but the process of making The Renewal High School a reality is now officially underway. Here are a few ways you can join us on this journey.
The people of Sudan are overcoming two of the greatest challenges facing humanity today: war and genocide. Operation Broken Silence is accelerating their ability to generate lasting change by funding storytelling and movement-building, education and emergency response, and grassroots advocacy programs. Here are a few ways you can join us:
1. Join The Renewal. This is our family of monthly givers who never stop pushing the needle forwards. They give automatically each and every month, providing consistent support to the Renewal High School. Monthly givers who donate $25+ a month also get free tickets to our two annual events! LEARN MORE »
2. Double Your Impact. When you donate to the new high school we are helping to open in Yida Refugee Camp, your gift will be matched by a small group of private donors! You can even give in honor of a loved one and send them a holiday e-card with your message of love. GIVE HERE »
3. Give The OBS Experience. If you are in the Memphis, TN area with us, we have the perfect Christmas gift you can give to a loved one! Our 7th annual Gala is coming up on March 23, 2019, and it is going to be a breathtaking experience. Discounted earlybird tickets are now on sale and benefit the school! Why not buy a pair and give them to a friend as an awesome gift? LEARN MORE »
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.