The Valentino Achak Deng Foundation


The VAD Foundation is a nonprofit organization working in South Sudan to create community-driven development projects. Established by Valentino Deng and Dave Eggers after the publication of What is the What, the Foundation's first major project is the construction and operation of an 18-structure educational complex in Valentino's hometown of Marial Bai, South Sudan. Marial Bai Secondary School (MBSS) has increased access to excellent secondary education, trained teachers, created equal opportunities for girls, and promoted literacy for children and adults in the region. Ranked 3rd in all of South Sudan MBSS is a leader in the movement to educate the new nation of South Sudan. 



Find out more about South Sudan, our foundation history, and those who make it possible.

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Thanks to the generosity of the MNS Foundation, Napa Solar Fund donors, and several key individuals the VAD Foundation is proud to announce the launch of the Marial Bai Secondary School Solar Project. 

Dear Friends,

Our students, teachers, support staff and the host community of Marial Bai are all safe during this difficult time of conflict in South Sudan. The State of Northern Bahr el Ghazal where MBSS is located is calm and currently one of the safest places in the country of South Sudan.