1000 pieces of UNIFORMS and pairs of SHOES for 1000 Ariang Ariang students
Did you ever walk to school barefoot?
For many students in South Sudan, this is a regular occurrence. Many students trek long distances to come to school. As much as receiving an education is worth walking the miles, students often do not have shoes while others just wear flip flops to help them walk on the hot, and sandy terrain.
Students are required to wear uniforms in many schools across South Sudan. This year, we are fortunate to partner with Tailored for Education, a United States non-profit that strives to increase school enrollment rates by providing school uniforms to children in marginalized communities. They believe every child has the right to attend school regardless of their socio-economic upbringing. We couldn’t agree more with Tailored for education that:
“Beyond removing a significant barrier to education, uniforms legitimize the child, instill a sense of pride and put them on a more even playing field.”
When a student wears a uniform, he or she attracts established a sense of dignity in many communities of South Sudan and parents will likely relieve them of some activities and chores that would prevent them from attending school.
On November 4, Tailored for Education made it possible for all 1,000 Ariang school students in Grade 1 – 8 to receive a uniform and pair of shoes. Tailored for Education funded the project and HOPE for Ariang program staff provided all the necessary logistics to make it a success.
Did the project support local businesses?
After vetting numerous local tailors, three were chosen to make the uniforms as well as shoe traders in the capital to supply the shoes. This is key in supporting local industries and the efforts that small scale businesses are making to support their families and the economy.
A JOYOUS day!
Each student was called by name to march forward to receive a uniform and a pair of shoes. The students were overwhelmed with joy because receiving the items meant a new sense of dignity and pride to come to school each day.
Several key education players attended the event. We were happy to welcome the County Commissioner of Awan Ayien and area chiefs. They recognized HOPE’s impact on the community of Ariang and encouraged parents to educate their children and tap into the opportunities that HOPE continues to create through community empowerment programs
What did the community say?
During the event, the community reiterated its commitment to continue supporting HOPE’s mission and echoed HOPE’s impact in the community. We were particularly moved by parents’ message of encouragement to their children that they take the opportunity to receive an education in order to help address the challenges that are facing Ariang and South Sudan. They sponsored the event by providing enough food for everyone and helped with executing the day’s events.
Even a few locally renowned artists gave their time and words of encouragement to our students for free. Music is deeply ingrained in many cultures of Ariang communities and any message passed through music can go a long way.