Spring 2019 Updates
We’re reaching more students & women through your support
Greeting from South Sudan! I want to take a minute to update you on all the exciting things that are happening at HOPE for Ariang Foundation. Last November, our team came together for a week in Nairobi to develop HFA’s five-year strategic plan. We are pushing to reach BIG goals that will have a deeper impact in the community by 2023. These goals still utilize the same approach that our founder Gabriel used; we partner with the community to provide inclusive access to quality education and opportunities through a holistic approach. This means our team spends time in the community listening and understanding their challenges in order to inform our programs and approach.
I just returned from a productive and exciting week on the ground in Ariang! In this newsletter, you can read more about the trip, milestones achieved, and exciting new programs like the Bany Akolda Seminars we are getting ready to launch in the coming months. We are striving towards greater impact in the next five years, and invite that you to be part of it! Together, we can transform lives through quality education and opportunities.
Ariang School is Improving!
Providing quality education at Ariang Primary School still remains at the core of our mission. We are proud to report that we are making strides in increasing the quality of education that our 1,200 students receive at Ariang Primary.
Ariang School was a top-performing school in the region on the 2018 National Primary Exam, with a 97% passing rate and a mean-score increase by 34 points from 2017. It was also the first year where the number of girls sitting for their exam was more than boys! We’re so proud of this tremendous growth and it motivates teacher, students, and the entire community towards continued growth.
This month, we distributed 6,000 exercise books and 2,800 pens. Every student received a personal set of these materials to equip them for learning. In addition, teachers received lesson plan books, pens, markers, and poster boards to equip them for planning and teaching engaging lessons. These materials have an impact on student attendance and performance. Thank you for your support that makes this possible.
First Teacher Training Graduation!
This month marked the completion of our first year-long Teacher Training program in partnership with Dignitas. Our cohort of six Ariang School teachers showed significant growth! On April 18th, a graduation ceremony was held at the school where students witnessed and celebrated these six teachers’ achievement with speeches, a certificate ceremony, and plenty of singing and dancing! Dignitas staff conducted final evaluations to measure the program’s impact which will inform the next steps in our future teacher training. We’re committed to strengthening our teacher training program because we know that when we invest in teachers, we’re investing in students.
Women and Girls Empowerment
With our Girls Empowerment Program (GEP), we hope to eliminate barriers that girls face in accessing quality education; reduce school drop-out rates among girls; increase their academic performance and empower them with the 21st-century career & leadership qualities.
We will use our Strong Girls Club as a safe space for discussions in order to ‘catch’ girls before they begin dropping-out of school.
With Women Empowerment Program (WEP), we hope to increase women’s financial and business literacy levels to promote income generating activities; develop their leadership & self-determination and reduce poverty levels of women, their families, and communities. We have identified 2 groups of focus (1). Women who already possess skills or own small businesses and desire to strengthen them to scale and (2). Women who desire to learn new skills and start businesses.
We will continue to share more details with you when we launch later this year.
Scholars Empowerment Program (SEP)
We announced the launch of SEP at the end of 2018 and perhaps you are wondering how this program is going. In February, we enrolled our first cohort of nine students, five girls and four boys, at Lahu-Nhom secondary school, a boarding school about thirty minutes from Ariang by car. All nine scholars have shown great potential in pursuing academic excellence to reach their life goals. At the end of April, the students will finish their first term. We’re eager to see their progress and committed to providing continued support to ensure their future growth and success.
We’re excited to kick-off the second key component to the SEP program, Bany Akolda Seminar. Bany Akolda means leaders of tomorrow in Dinka. During all school breaks, SEP students will participate in workshop classes to develop their leadership capacities and important 21st-century skills like creative problem solving, peacebuilding, perseverance/grit, communication, and collaboration. Our goal is that all our SEP graduates are equipped to be leaders and agents-of-change in their communities. We need your support to implement Bany Akolda Seminar workshops. Read below on direct ways to support this exciting program!
Many students in South Sudan graduate from high school and college with little knowledge beyond core academic competencies. Even though these foundational academic skills are important, they lack leadership and even basic life-skills to express themselves to the world, innovatively solve community needs, or push their goals forward on their own.
The Bany Akolda Seminar workshops, a part of our Scholars Empowerment Program, develop the capacity and skills of South Sudanese youth in order to be leaders and agents-of-change in their communities.
Do you want to positively impact a student’s life and equip him or her to be a community leader? You can support Bany Akolda Seminar workshops two direct ways:
HOPE for Ariang Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 15327
Syracuse, NY 13215
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