With two civil wars fought back-to-back, southern Sudan has seen a massive displacement of it’s people, a total collapse of it's social and economic infrastructure, the increase or spread of preventable and treatable diseases, and massive severe suffering for the entire population of the south.
The poverty is unendurable, the illiteracy is immeasurable, and although the violence has ended in the south, those families left behind living in the rural towns and villages are among some of those hardest hit by the four decades of civil war and its related genocide.
Regrettably, the children as always have suffered most these ill effects of war...
“Children in southern Sudan have the least access to primary education in the world. The net enrollment ratio in primary school is the worst in the world. Equally southern Sudan has the lowest ratio of female to male enrollment. In other words, only one out of every five children of school age is in class and around three times more boys than girls are at school.
In terms of primary school completion, southern Sudan has the lowest rate worldwide. Only one out of every 50 children finishes primary school. With a population of 7.5 million, only 500 girls finish primary school each year while 2,000 boys finish. The share of cohort reaching grade 5 is the least in the world.
Southern Sudan is second in terms of worst adult literacy rate in the world. Three out of every four adults are illiterate and about one of every ten female adults is literate.
The 'misleading' teacher-to-pupil ratio (1/33) is better than other countries in the region, but far less than that of the rest of Sudan. Only 7% of the teachers are trained in the sense of having received at least one year of pre-service training. Of the 93% of teachers having received less than a year of training, half of teachers had no training at all and the other half have received from two weeks to a few months of in-service training. And to underscore the discrimination against women, only 7% of the teachers are female.
Massive investment in the education system is needed in Southern Sudan. Only 1,600 schools exist for the 1.6 million children of school age, only 10% of the classrooms are in permanent buildings, 80% of the children have no bench to sit on and only one third of the schools have access to latrines and half have access to safe clean water…”
The Deng Ater Foundation was conceived of by (One of The Lost Boys of Sudan and exile from Duk County, now a US Citizen and Graduate Student at the University of Arizona) & his good friend and associate Donald Ray Dains, during a visit to southern Sudan and several townships within in the state of Jonglei between the 10th of May and the 6th of July 2007.
After assessing the great need and compelled to act, Mr. Ater & Mr. Dains decided to take the necessary steps to create a public non-profit 501c3 organization in order to fund an educational process that will provide the opportunity of an education to all children of southern Sudan.
The Foundations plans are to build 3 schools in 3 townships of Duk County, in the state of Jonglei within Southern Sudan.
The initial intent of the Foundation is to generate the support needed, both through direct financial contributions and in-kind contributions of goods and services, in order to construct the first school, in phases, a total of five, 500sq ft, 4 room schoolhouses (Grades K-12) designed for 45 students per room, totaling 20 rooms, for a total of 900 Students; to fund all related training & payroll of staff; to provide all educational materials, supplies, equipment; as well as provide all related accommodations needed to support the first school, starting in the township of Dongchak -2010/2011.
The Foundation has created a self-sustainable and economically feasible business model that can be duplicated, is financially assisted for a period of 3 years and is fully self-sustainable directly thereafter. By using this model, our schools should be self-sustaining after 3 years, allowing them to continue without needing much, if any, financial assistance from our organization.
The Foundation will work to Promote Peace & Reconciliation Through Education.
During the 2008 year the Foundation raised over $30,000 and 16 duffle bags full of in-kind donations from private donors and local business, which were all taken to Southern Sudan at the end of the year and distributed to within the community of Duk Fadiet.
Mr. Ater & Mr. Dains returned to southern Sudan in December of 2008 and have registered as an indigenous Non Governmental Organization (NGO) with the South Sudan Relief & Rehabilitation Commission (SSRRC) and the Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) in January of 2009.
A preliminary site visit was made in the state of Jonglei and a suitable building site was selected within the township of Dongchak and has been donated to the organization by the Paramount Chief and community elders of Duk County.
Mr. Ater held the first public healthcare prevention and education clinic within the township of Duk Fadiat in February of 2009. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, during the clinic, 100 (WHO) World Health Organization approved mosquito nets, supplied by our International Partner Mosquito Nets R Us, and 50 regular mosquito nets, 100's of eye glasses, 100's of tooth brushes and tooth paste, as well as several pairs of work gloves, were distributed to the local community.
By promoting safe, best practices of basic hygiene, sanitation, water purification, proper food preparation and storage, how to prevent and/or treat simple diseases, Mr. Ater was able to teach the community the importance and roll prevention & education plays in the treatment of simple diseases, as well as how these safe, best practices will have a positive long-lasting impact on the community at large.
This Initiative will clearly minimize the number of deaths occurring within this community and will ultimately, over time, stabilize the local population. By sharing this much needed healthcare information & education, our team, thanks again to the generous support of our donors, have created an Immediate Impact and will ultimately, over time, save lives with the message of treatment and prevention.
Mr. Ater was also able to provide several boxes of antibiotic creams, first aid kits, hand sanitizers and various other much needed medical supplies to the local clinic. In addition, our team was able to supply several Backpacks & school supplies, 20 Soccer balls, 20 Jump ropes, 20 Hacky-sack balls and 20 Frisbees to the local school.
Take legal possession of the land
Select a qualified Logistics Manager & Project Manger in Sudan
Perform a (MRA) Mine Risk Assessment to ensure the building site is safe to build on
Survey, excavate, clear and prepare the building site
Drill a groundwater well for the future school on the building site
Documents will be drawn up to take legal possession of the land; specific site conditions, building restrictions, soil types, and a construction site survey will be performed.
The Foundation is currently seeking a skilled construction manager from within southern Sudan that can help train and develop trade skills within the community, manage and oversee the site excavation, tradesman, materials, logistics, and entire construction process.
Before the Foundation can begin building, we will request that a (MRA) Mine Risk Assessment be performed and the site be cleared of the potential threat of (UXO) Unexploded Ordinance and deemed safe by (UNMAO) United Nations Mine Advisory Office or any other (EOD) Explosive Ordinance Disposal organization working in the affected area of Duk County within the state of Jonglei state or the Upper Nile River valley.
The costs and availability of local building materials, availability of local tools, costs and availability of imported materials, labor pools, tradesmen and related salaries, water sources, cost of drilling wells, earthwork, site surveys, accessibility of roads, etc., will be assessed and determined, assumed and/or estimated based on the information recently gathered and made available to our team by other aid organizations working in the same geographical areas on similar projects.
Following the completion of the fist school, the Foundations future objectives are to build additional schools throughout southern Sudan over the next 10 years, beginning in 2013 using the same business model.
As southern Sudan is made up of 10 states, each state will initially get three schools.
There will also be schools built in each of the most marginalized areas; other schools will go to the areas determined by most need. [To learn more contact us.]
The recently formed partnerships with CS Africa & Necessity Housing are dedicated to providing our organization with the education required for building economically and environmentally sustainable villages in areas of the world where disaster has left people without adequate shelter, with unsafe housing conditions, and in communities experiencing chronic homelessness.
Our partners have worked tirelessly to support sustainable projects across Africa over the years and we feel that by working closely with them, using a Sustainable Village Development approach, that our new partnership is a critical first step in creating a viable, safe, secure and sustainable solution to the devastating humanitarian crisis that is facing southern Sudan today.
Working side-by-side we will work to establish and develop a Community with: Stakeholders responsibilities; Empowering governance structures; as well as Create sustainability by including: Community farming and enterprise zones; Installation of solar and recycling systems, which will create and/or provide...
Village safety and support, plus Elder/Orphan and Daycare
Safe sanitation and hygiene practices
HIV/AIDs awareness campaigns
Adult literacy programs
Skills & job training
Offer employment opportunities by: Hiring and training residents for the construction of Schools, Community, Industrial & Opportunity Centers, housing, roads, wells, latrines, etc…
With the signing of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) and the hopeful political settlement of the Sudanese conflict in Darfur looming, several humanitarian organizations have since become involved and tasked with the repatriation of refugees from refugee camps in neighboring countries and from the internally displaced population as well. It is estimated that well over 30+ thousand Internal Displaced People (IDPs) from Duk-County alone will have presumably been transported back to their areas over the next few years with this onset of peace.
Like Mr. Ater, many of The Lost Boys are now men and since the signing of the 2005 CPA they have begun to return to southern Sudan for the first time in over 20 years to help rebuild their communities. They hope the people of southern Sudan will gain autonomy from the North through secession in 2011, which will bring an end to all hostilities and establish a peaceful resolution between the North and South once and for all. [To learn more contact us.]
"They are not lost anymore..."