Our goal is to raise the literacy rate in South Sudan. Literacy is essential for South Sudanese citizens to be able to sustain a stable new democracy, and for health and prosperity. Currently only 1 in 10 women can read in South Sudan, which is the lowest literacy rate in the world.
LBRSS tackles illiteracy through Community Learning Centers where large numbers of diverse learners can learn to read and write the official language, English, and through the Literacy at the Well program. Our Malualkon Community Learning Center provides basic literacy instruction to the entire surrounding community. It also serves as a training and resource hub for the Literacy at the Well program. This innovative program which we developed allows us to turn waiting time into learning time at busy area wells. We hire, train and deploy local teachers to teach women and girls how to read and write as they wait in long lines to fill their jerry cans with safe water. Our learners then walk long distances home with their full jugs and the lessons they have learned to share with their families. We are raising the literacy rate one well site at a time. We could use your support to reach more communities.
Along with literacy skills our students learn to:
– Lead by serving others – Resolve conflict without violence – Organize and educate their communities
First Goal Completed:
The Malualkon Community Learning Center, MCLC, sits on a large tract of donated land and now serves over 600 learners each day. The MCLC welcomes all learners, regardless of age or gender, to come learn how to read and write. The MCLC also serves as the headquarters for the Literacy at the Well program, providing a place to train teachers and distribute supplies. Our students in Malualkon are responsible for teaching their neighbors who have not had access to education. It is imperative that we provide our students with the best education possible so that they are equipped to educate others. We see our center as an educational well – a deep and healthy system to equip South Sudan for independence. Along with the construction of the MCLC we have installed seven new wells in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state and trained and deployed many Literacy Leaders.
Next Immediate Goal:
We are over capacity at the MCLC and would like to add additional classrooms and perform some necessary upgrades to handle the increasing number of learners. With the help of a generous grant and support from Lions Clubs International Foundation, we will expand and update the MCLC and also open another community learning center in the nearby capital city of Aweil in early 2015. Aweil has the largest population in the state and also a large number of illiterate refugees and returnees. The Aweil Community Learning Center, or ACLC as it will be called, will be an 8 classroom building, with latrines for both male and female students, a large veranda for additional teaching areas and a well. Like the MCLC, it will serve as a resource and training center for the Literacy at the Well sites in that area.
Vision for the Future:
We have developed a strategic plan entitled One Year One State, in order to raise the literacy rate to at least 50% throughout the entire state of Northern Bahr El Ghazal in one year following full implementation. The goal is to use the county and payam maps to strategically place a community learning center in the each of the five counties and then train and deploy local teachers throughout the payams. By conducting pre- and post-program assessments of the literacy rate and its effect on the health and stability of the state, we will be able to assess the benefits of literacy on an entire state. Ultimately we would like to use this model in the other nine states of South Sudan. Please consider a donation to help the people of Northern Bahr El Ghazal achieve a 50% literacy rate. Once that milestone is reached, the literacy rate will only go up, never down!