Making Education More Accessible for the 620 Students of Mading, South Sudan

The education situation across South Sudan, especially the remote villages needs immense support. Ariang region, where we work, has six villages and three primary schools whose student population is over 3,000. The daily attendance in all the three schools averages 2,500, meaning that about 5,00 students miss school every day. Any effort that makes education more accessible to children matters a lot. 

HOPE for Ariang’s Ariang Network of Schools Program‘s core mission seeks to promote inclusive access to education through a collaborative and centralized support system. However, there are many barriers in various forms for a person living outside of Ariang to understand. 

Students sitting on rocks to receive instructions
Students walking to school
Students crossing 20-meter wide river using a log canoe to go to school

For many students, going to school means trekking barefoot for up to 6 Kilometers through dense vegetation and swimming between 20-40 meters across the river to reach school.  Learning means sitting on rocks under trees in an open field to receive instructions, writing from your laps because there are no desks to write on, and going full-day without lunch.

If these blockers are left unchecked, the world risks losing another generation of children to childhood marriages, illicit groups/behaviors, severe suffering in old age, and continued generational poverty cycles.

How Does HFA Help Mitigate the Barriers?

HFA collaborates with individuals, organizations, government agencies, and the local community of Ariang to eliminate the blockers so that education becomes more accessible for every child.

One such organization is Tailored for Education, a Boston-based not-for-profit organization that helps restore and maintain students’ dignity through uniforms. This year [2022], HFA received yet another funding from the organization to support the students of Mading School with school uniforms and shoes. Mading is one of the three schools that HFA supports through its Ariang Network of Schools program.

Mading school has a student population of six hundred and twenty [620] boys and girls who go there every day to quench their thirst for education. However, the school lacks basic school infrastructures such as classrooms, desks, chalkboards, and stationeries. All six hundred and twenty [620] students and their teachers sit on rocks under trees in an open field. This situation causes their uniforms to wear out faster compared to other students in sister schools. This school, therefore, needs extra support for it to continue to operate. The closest sister school where Mading students could go is two hours away. That means extra walking in the scorching sun of South Sudan. 

The Tailored for Education’s uniforms fund filled a major social gap. The funding enabled HFA to buy seven hundred pairs [700] pairs of sneaker shoes and 691 pairs of high-quality fabric school uniforms – 100% made by local women. Each of the six hundred and twenty [620] students of Mading School received a new pair of shoes and a school uniform.

Below are some photos documenting the development process and the colorful event on the day of distribution.

Mama Akuach and her trainer, Eunice – HFA’s WEP graduates at their workshop where they sewed all 691 pairs of uniforms

Our Founding Director helping a student put on his uniforms
Each of the 620 students of Mading School received new pairs of school uniforms and shoes. This takes away a huge burden from the parents, allowing them to focus on other things that contribute to education.
Any effort that empowers girls to come to school is always welcome. Girls face extra challenges in accessing education compared to their counterparts -boys. A school uniform is one example of an educational gift for the girls.
Part of the 620 students of Mading showing their shoes. This is the second time HOPE for Ariang Foundation in partnership with the Tailored for Education is giving shoes and uniforms to the students of Mading School.

Join the HOPE for Ariang Giving Community | Give Monthly

Please consider becoming a monthly donor to help make education more accessible, high-quality, and enjoyable to the children of South Sudan. Our donors have enabled us to grow the school population of the three schools from less than 100 to over 2,500 in a span of 12 years.

Every $10 supports a kid with full-year school supplies. There are over 2,500 students that need support. Welcome! Build a stronger world for everyone today. Every dollar counts.

The Impact of The Uniforms Project

The uniforms project is 100% complete. A total of 24,342 student items (uniforms, supplementary items, and shoes) were made and distributed to our 3 schools through our Ariang Network of Schools – this impact reached 2,505 and transformed their school life in many ways. This particular project was 100% funded by Tailored for Education.

Below is a summary of items distributed and their impact in the community.

Summary of items procured and distributed
Impact of the project to the community of Ariang

The schools reached by this project include Ariang School, Nyieth School, and Mading School. We would like to feature Mading School because it has a unique set of challenges.

Mading School | The School Under A Collection Of Trees

Mading Classroom Setting

Mading Primary School is a makeshift school where all teaching and learning for over 565 students [current student population] and sixteen members of the teaching staff happen under a collection of trees in a cleared field. The school doesn’t have a single structure and classrooms are simple chalkboards propped up against a tree while students huddle around on the ground and write from their laps.

The Weather Determines Learning

The school administration and the teaching staff explained to us that extreme weather conditions such as rains, sand storms, scorching afternoon sun, and warm breezes usually bring learning to a standstill for days, weeks, and sometimes, for months.

Students Sit On Rocks and Tree Roots To Recieve Instructions

Students Sitting On Tree Roots

When the weather is favorable, students of Mading School walk through grasslands, dusty/bare grounds, and soaked
fields depending on the season to reach the school. The school does not have a good road accessing it – only footpaths made by grazing animals and people. Upon reaching the school, the students sit on rocks and tree roots to receive instructions. Students endure ‘the scorching sun of South Sudan’ when trees shed their leaves and younger students are usually advised to stay at home during these times.

Challenges and Socio-economic Disparities

Mading School is located at the heart of the poorest village in Ariang. The majority of students do not have school uniforms or shoes and they put on whatever clothes they have. Socio-economic disparaties are easily noteceable when you look around. These disparities bring in, many forms of educational inequalities and social stigma to the students. This uniforms project filled many of these gaps in addition to the impact stories highlighted above

Our Dream For Mading School

Our wish and dream is to build proper school infrastructures but we often have financial shortfalls considering that our organization is young. Here is a short vision we wrote for this school but we haven’t been able to raise enough funds to make it a reality.

Seeking Support For This School

Any support or connections to organizations or international governments that fund these types of projects is highly welcomed. Together we can build this school one classroom at a time through our collective effort. The benefits will be great, lasting, and impactful.

We welcome you to support the kids of Mading School by making a donation of any amount. Every $10 supports one kid with one year school supplies. This is the first postitive step in the direction of making education more accessible to kids of South Sudan.

Checks donation can be sent to:

HOPE for Ariang Foundation

P.O BOX 569,

Syracuse, NY, 13214

We are getting bigger, stronger, and better – The making of 25,000 school uniforms