In the midst of civil war between North and South Sudan, the Ariang community saw the need for education for their children. Through community efforts, Ariang School was founded in the 1990s to provide basic elementary education to hundreds of children in Ariang and surrounding villages. However, Attacks by North Sudan Murahileen militiamen forced the school to close periodically in addition to harsh weather elements.
The school functioned in makeshift classes held under trees. The community compensated teachers through Food for Work collected from each family during the harvesting time. The teachers, though limited in education, felt an obligation to teach the children whatever little education they had. As one teacher, Garang Akoon, explains, “We were like a small child carrying a smaller child on our back.”