February 2016 Updates
This month, Marial Bai Secondary School opened for our eighth academic year! This should be celebrated as an incredible accomplishment among our donor community. Your support has not only sustained, but also grown an education center in South Sudan against many trials and continued conflict. With your help, The VAD Foundation has built a safe space for learning and helped served over one thousand students since opening in 2009.
This year we are also beginning the next phase in our growth plan. For students who have graduated from Marial Bai Secondary School and community members in need of job training, The VAD Foundation is opening a vocational school. The vocational school teaches necessary skills for building infrastructure, fosters entrepreneurship, and supports young people to start their own small businesses that are needed to grow the local economy. MBSS will continue to include integrated vocational training in their secondary school curriculum, but the vocational school will work on larger projects for full-time hands on learning of specific trades.
Much of the news about the continued conflict in South Sudan has been discouraging to our donors. There are devastating pleas for support that are going unnoticed. There is increased need for emergency aid and less funding is going toward long term development projects like the work of the VAD Foundation. With extreme instability, all non-governmental organizations providing services to the South Sudanese community are in desperate need for support. We value your voice in sharing the news coming out of South Sudan. Each time you tell your friends, family, and online community about the VAD Foundation or current events in South Sudan, you bring powerful attention to a region that is often overlooked.
Marial Bai Secondary School is located in an area of South Sudan that has not experienced violence at the rate of other communities in the Northeast of South Sudan. However, the war is affecting every community and family in the nation. We have students coming to the school looking for safety. Millions of people have been displaced by the violence. Families in the community are turning to the school in search for emergency resources. Military or rebel control over the roads makes dispersing food, transporting resources, and developing infrastructure costly and extremely difficult. The VAD Foundations wants to share with our supporters that the school and students are safe from violence. Opening the school to have a safe place where young people can learn and share ideas is vital to progress in South Sudan.
As always, the VAD Foundation is grateful for your ongoing support. We need your help to make sure our students have everything they need to succeed. With each donation, you help provide meals, housing, books, teachers, and opportunities for the young people we serve. To stay up to date with MBSS and VAD Foundation news, stay connected to us on social media. One of the best ways to support the work of the VAD Foundation is to share information about South Sudan and the positive impacts being made in South Sudanese communities.
The VAD Foundation