Start of the Year Update

Published January 31, 2012

So much has been happening behind the scenes of this website that we’ve forgotten to update you!

In December, we saw a rise in violence in Jonglei State, the region of our school and Michael’s community in South Sudan. As Michael reported to the Bor Globe, over 42 people were killed in the Juet community, many of whom where Michael’s family and friends. Two others who volunteered as security guards for our building materials, died protecting their own families. Our organization and Michael have been grieving the losses of these people.

A project trip was tentatively scheduled to break ground on the school in November/December (ground breaking was originally scheduled to happen last spring but could not begin due to shipping delays and unprecedented flooding). However, due to the unknown state of the area, we decided to wait until things calmed down. Since then, peace keeping forces have moved into the state and although fighting has continued, it has moved on to other regions.

With the support of Michael and local community members, we were finally told the path was clear for our executive director, Blake, and first intern, Marianne, to visit the site and help start construction. As I post this now, they are flying from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Juba, South Sudan where they will be met by GDC, our contractor and other community leaders who are helping to lead this effort.

Despite the current battle over the border and between tribes, the Jalle school of peace will soon begin to arise from the ashes. Michael has said “the people need to see the skyline change.” They need to know that their hope for education is going to be a reality. We pray the start of this construction will provide much needed hope to a desperate area of South Sudan.

We are grateful for your support, belief, and partnership with us in this endeavor. Please look back to this website for more information on the school’s progress.

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