The Situation in South Sudan
South Sudan attained its independence on the 9 July 2011 after more than twenty two years of civil war. Right now, People are facing great challenges to infrastructure devastation, destroyed livelihoods and severe lack of water, food and shelter and above all education for their young ones. In my village Sindiru which is 45 Km South of Juba the capital city of S.Sudan there is an estimated population of three thousand people including the families of Denis and myself. There are 300 children that live in Sindiru village and there are a number of other villages surrounding Sindiru with the same number of children ready to go school. For example, Tombur, Morsak, and Tokiman.
Right now,pupils are taught outside without any roof or building, usually under a tree. In general these "out door classrooms" consist of little more than a homemade blackboard nailed to a tree with the pupils sitting on the ground or on branches slung between two forked sticks. Teaching takes place when the weather permits and frequently has to be abandoned because of rain and afternoon heat. Most of the learning is by memory because there are not books, pencils or paper.
In 2011, it was estimated that more than eighty percent of the South Sudanese population could not read or write. The challenges are particularly severe for female children. South Sudan has proportionately fewer girls going to school than in any other country in the world. According to UNICEF, less than one percent of girls complete primary education.
"I feel privileged and lucky to have finished my studies here in Australia and my conscience keeps urging me to do something for my village. The people of Sindiru asked me to make for them a school for their children and I did not discourage them by saying it was impossible. Instead, I promised to try. Their humble request and my promise keeps haunting me." -Denis Lugor
Update on the Political Situation
Since December 2013 there has been conflict between the current President of South Sudan, who is from one tribe and his former Vice President who is from another tribe. There has been fighting and atrocities on both sides and many people have been killed or displaced. Getting the warring factions to observe a cessation of hostilities and come to the negotiating table has been difficult but with pressure from the USA and the UN, negotiations are once more underway. The three states most affected by the unrest are in the northern part of South Sudan IN THE STATES OF Joglei, Upper Nile and Unity. Fortunately, Sindiru and its neighbouring villages are in the South of Central Equatoria and have been unaffected by the fighting. These people just want to continue to rebuild their lives and educate their children.
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The village of Sindiru is located in Central Equatoria about 45 Kms south of Juba. Fighting has mainly been in the states of Jonglai, Unity and Upper Nile.