The Impact We Are Making In 2019 | Ariang School Continues To Thrive
Happy Fall! It has been a busy and exciting season at HFA. In recent months, we successfully launched two programs (SEP & WEP), concluded our first teacher training program, supplied two more schools with teaching and learning materials, hosted our first Ambassador Team from Syracuse, NY, and added new HFA program team members. You can read all these details in our Fall Newsletter below!
But first, I want to express my deep and sincere thanks for your support. For more than 10 years, HOPE for Ariang has depended on the support of individuals like you to build a school and support an entire community.
Without you, girls like Nyalong and Monica wouldn’t be able to join high school. Without you, Akuach would not be learning how to sew and start her own tailoring business. Without you, we couldn’t provide over 6,000 exercise books and pens to three community schools. Without you, we would not be able to support 73 eighth grade candidates with new backpacks and solar lanterns. Every ounce of your support fuels these programs and has a direct impact on individuals and the Ariang community. So, THANK YOU.
We ask for your continued support to educate the first generation in Ariang community to have the opportunity to go to school. By donating as little as $20, you’ll be making a real impact on individuals’ lives and helping us reach our fall campaign goal of $15,000.
Lastly, I am in the Central New York region for the next six months, and I’d love to connect with you! Allow me to share about our work at your school, place of faith, community group, or over dinner. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporting Ariang School remains at the core of our programs in Ariang. We have worked very hard to support teachers and all students to do and be their best. We are happy to share that we received a grant from Tailored for Education to provide a uniform and shoes to every Ariang student. What we love about TFE’s model, is that they employ local tailors to make the uniforms, which means the project also supports the local economy! We can’t wait to share photos of smiling students in their new uniforms and shoes in October.
For the second year, we distributed 73 backpacks and solar lanterns to all current Ariang school eighth-grade candidates. These supplies will allow the students to study in the evenings during a particularly important year in their education.
Expanding our Reach
We recently visited Mading and Nyieth Schools to continue our relationship with these two local primary schools. Thanks to your ongoing support, we were able to distribute student exercise books, pens, and sports equipment to each school. These materials help reduce the cost of getting an education, making it more accessible to all.
In June, we received guests from DeWitt Community Church (DCC) in Syracuse who visited Ariang as our first “Ambassador Team”. The team of four came as learners – making careful observations, asking good questions, taking time to learn more about the community, and participating in our programs. You can read more about their trip here.
Our Scholars are Thriving!
Our SEP scholars continue to shine and thrive in their education, with many showing huge potential to succeed through high school. The nine scholars’ report cards show their determination to grow and develop. We launched our Bany Akolda Seminar Workshops earlier this year as well. Bany Akolda means “leaders for tomorrow” in Dinka. The program’s aim is to develop the scholar’s leadership capacity by nurturing important 21st-century skills.
In June, the first seminar focused on identifying personal strengths & weaknesses, developing growth and fixed mindsets, and writing SMART goals. We also started reading and discussing the book “A Long Walk To Water” by Linda Sue Parks. We were surprised by how fast our students developed their confidence in public speaking and storytelling during the three-day workshop.
In September, we conducted our second seminar. We focused on three major skill areas that include communication, teamwork & collaboration and storytelling. The training was very hands-on and every student got a chance to take the stage and practice these target skills. We emphasized confidence and growth mindset at all times during the training. For one activity, students used building blocks with the goal of building the tallest building using a limited number of blocks. This game helped our students to think critically while analyzing possible solutions to certain problems. With collaboration and clarity on asking questions, many groups were able to build strong structures that were able to withstand the wind – which was identified as the biggest challenge to meeting the goal at hand. We also noticed tremendous growth in confidence in many of our young and timid girls. Many were able to write personal narratives and share them with fellow students while observing good communication techniques.
Investing in Women
In July, we kicked off our Women’s Empowerment Program which aims to provide economic stimulating activities for women in the community. We started with two small pilot projects: tailoring and beadwork. One woman is going through an intensive six-month tailoring training program; learning how to make women, men, and children’s clothes. She told us, “I can’t wait to start my own business at the completion of the program!” She will be the first female tailor the area. Female students are also making beaded bracelets that we hope to sell to our supporters in the United States. This extra income will help them to buy personal and education items to stay in school.
Growing a Bigger and Stronger HFA Team!
We are so pleased to introduce some of our newest HFA team members! These individuals are all South Sudanese who have overcome their own obstacles to finish their college education. They know first-hand the challenges, strengths, and cultural mindset of the community. They are already making great strides in developing a strong relationship with the people we serve and pushing our goals forward.
Scholar’s Empowerment Program Coordinator
“I know, first-hand, the struggles to our students face in getting an education. I want to be a role model for them to show them they can achieve their goals.”
Operations and Project Manager
“A good leader, leads by example. He must talk to people and treat them fairly.”
“I want to help the children of Ariang to be the future leaders of this community. I am here to serve the community through creativity and hard work.