December 2019 Yida Education Update

an update from the Endure Primary and Renewal High Schools in Yida Refugee Camp

Posted by Mark Hackett on December 17th, 2019

Since 2015, our movement of fundraisers and donors has been fighting the education crisis in Yida Refugee Camp alongside of our Nuba education partner. This is an update on how your support is empowering the schools, teachers, and students Operation Broken Silence partners with in Yida. 

People in the Nuba Mountains of Sudan have been living in emergency conditions since June of 2011, when Sudan's military regime launched another genocidal war against their communities. The regime banned all aid and media organizations from the Nuba Mountains in an attempt to cover up their war crimes and increase suffering on the Nuba people.

Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir was overthrown in a military coup in April 2019. Sudan now has a fledgling transitional government that is seeking to move the country toward civilian, democratic rule. In October, Sudan’s Council of Ministers granted permission for the World Food Programme (WFP) to visit Kauda, the opposition capital in the war-torn Nuba Mountains region, for the first time in more than eight years. Sadly, this new government has not lifted the humanitarian blockade, nor has a permanent peace been achieved.

Right now, a fragile ceasefire is holding together in the Nuba Mountains. There have been several targeted attacks by regime forces in frontline areas over the past few months. No aerial bombing has been reported.

Yida Refugee Camp sits just south of the Nuba Mountains across the international border that divides Sudan and South Sudan. 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 45,000-55,000 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 largely unknown education crisis is threatening the next generation of Nuba leaders and their futures. 

Operation Broken Silence sponsors the high-performing Endure Primary and new Renewal High Schools in Yida. Both schools are staffed entirely by Nuba teachers. They run the show, not us. Our fundraisers and donors provide the funding to help pay teacher salaries, give basic school supplies, support classroom construction and repair, and more. 

Renewal High School is staffed by a principal, secretary, and 12 teachers. The school has been in a soft-open phase all year with 120 students. The semester ended at Renewal High on December 9, and classes will begin again on January 27.

In 2020, our Nuba education partner hopes to double the number of students as Renewal High continues opening more grades and classes. As we outline below, current teacher salaries at the school are not fully met yet, so growing the school will depend entirely on additional monthly giving.

Renewal High is one of two secondary schools in Yida. Earlier this year, the other secondary school was badly damaged during the rainy season. This only made the need for Renewal High that much greater. 

Endure Primary School is staffed by 12 teachers, 1 cook, and 1 guard. The cook and guard serve both schools, but are budgeted to Endure Primary.

964 students have attended the school this year, which is the maximum number allowed. 48 students in the P8 class, the final grade, are beginning to prepare for their final exams and graduation in 2020. 

Classes are still in session at Endure Primary and will soon break for Christmas. The small sports program at Endure Primary includes male and female soccer teams and male and female volleyball teams. Matches regularly draw in small crowds from and help build community in Yida. And the small student choir continues to tour around the refugee camp from time to time singing traditional Nuba songs.

In early December, our education partner delivered another batch of supplies to the schools. Here are a few recent videos and photos from the schools:

Video: Students and teachers thank our supporters as 2019 comes to a close. 

Photo: Students from both schools gather for an end of semester celebration. 

Photo: Students at Endure Primary School hold their new notebooks. 

Photo: Notebooks delivered to the schools by our Nuba education partner in December.

Photo: Renewal High students celebrate recent grades near the end of the semester.

We couldn't be more amazed at how much the teachers at the Endure Primary and Renewal High Schools have accomplished this year, especially considering the challenges they face.

Thanks to a generous donation from one of our supporters, the schools will soon receive the weatherproofing materials requested by our education partner. This will help make classrooms safer during the annual rainy season. 

Current Needs At The Schools

Endure Primary and Renewal High have several needs going into 2020 that are unmet:

  • Critical Need: $2,500 in monthly giving for teacher salaries
  • $1,025: Printer for grades and testing
  • $3,750: New chalkboards for classrooms
  • $11,500: Two more classrooms for Renewal High

It's common for children across Yida to show up at the schools every week hoping that a spot has opened up for them. Our projection is that the schools will remain at their current size through 2020 due to a lack of funding and current needs not being met. For now, this means very few spots will open up in classrooms at both schools. 

Simply put, our movement and Nuba education partner have a lot of hard and good work ahead. 2020 marks the beginning of a new decade. We ask that you join us in helping the teachers and students in Yida get off to a good start.

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Operation Broken Silence is one of only a few nonprofits in the world working alongside of the Sudanese people to end the education crisis in the Nuba Mountains. Here are three simple ways you can help us meet the basic needs at the schools in Yida:

1. Give Monthly. The Renewal is our unstoppable family of monthly givers who never stop fighting for change. They give automatically each and every month to these two schools, providing consistent support to the 24 teachers and nearly 1,100 students from the Nuba Mountains. This is the best and easiest way to get involved! SIGN UP »

2. Become A Fundraiser. If you can’t give monthly right now, start an online fundraising page for the schools and ask your friends and family to give. Your page comes complete with the all information and two videos about education in Yida, so all you have to do ask people to give to your goal. BECOME A FUNDRAISER »

3. Give Once. Not ready to commit with a monthly gift or fundraising yet? That’s okay, making a one-time gift is the best next step to get your feet wet! GIVE HERE »

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