Teacher Training 2017

Published November 29, 2016

The Second Rebuild South Sudan Teacher Training!


Teachers at the 2015 training pointing to South Sudan while practicing geography teaching methods.

Supporting Education in South Sudan Means Supporting Teachers

On September 4th, 2017 the Rebuild South Sudan teacher training team will return to host another teacher training for the teachers we worked with in 2015. The training is designed based on the feedback and needs expressed by the teachers at the end of the 2015 training.


First, this is a professional development training designed to sharpen and develop teachers’ skill sets. We’ll be doing workshops on teaching english as a second language, curriculum and lesson plan design and development, leadership skills, and strategies for teaching reading.


Second, this is a time for emotional reflection and spiritual restoration. South Sudan continues to struggle with conflict. We continue to hold out as part of our mission providing spaces for conflict transformation. Last year, the work we did with Desmond Tutu and Mpho Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving was reported as the number one most helpful element. Twice daily we held discussion sessions on what a path of forgiveness might look like for South Sudanese healing. This year we’re going to be working with The Little Book of Trauma Healing which comes out of Eastern Mennonite University’s Conflict Transformation Program, where Michael Kuany went to graduate school.


Third, for at least 8 days these teachers will not be hungry – they will have food for themselves and their families.


Teachers will also receive a certificate of completion, honoring their work and time in the training. We’ve worked hard in our team and with our advisors to ensure that we are bringing strategies and supplies that work in rural South Sudan, a place with extremely limited supplies. Things that we take for granted, like paper, are hard to come by.

Sponsor a Teacher! We need your help.

You can be a part of this training! In fact we need you to be a part of this training! For $25 per teacher, you provide two meals a day during the training as well as money for transportation and logistics. All the supplies are being donated by the Rebuild South Sudan Board of Directors, who are also providing their own funds for travel costs. Join us in making this training possible by sponsoring one, two, three, or even four teachers!

The Team

We’re fortunate to be sending a solid team of educators and community organizers to conduct this retreat. Gail Efting has a Masters in Leadership and is currently working on her Doctorate in Educational Leadership. Susan Esswein comes to the team with as a certified TESOL instructor with years of cross cultural experience working as tutor and organizing homeschool coop programs. Paul Esswein is a pastor also with much experience working cross culturally.  This year we are delighted to have Amy Mitchell-Erickson joining the team as our literacy specialist. She has previously worked in Burundi on literacy training. In addition she has a B.A. in Organizational and Professional Development as well as business management in her background.

Katie Rivers, Rebuild South Sudan’s executive director and board president, has been working with Rebuild South Sudan since 2011. Her areas of study include early childhood education and communication studies. This year she’s adding anthropology to the list. Last but not least, Michael Kuany will be back on the ground in South Sudan for the first time in two years! He won’t make it to the training, but he will be there early, with Katie, working on preparations for the training and the school building.

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