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. MBSS is the highest ranking South Sudanese secondary school that is free for students to attend, a true leader in the movement to educate the new nation of South Sudan. 


Find out more about South Sudan, VAD Foundation history, and those who make it possible.

Change a Life

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Read about what the VAD Foundation accomplished in 2015 and what the future holds for the community and students served in South Sudan. 

South Sudan Independence Day

"What I pray that we do as leaders of this young nation is that we say stop to the violence, stop to anything that destroys a soul, look for a solution, and we can be like anybody." – Valentino Achak Deng


The VAD Foundation is now accepting applications for Spring and Summer Interns. If you are a current student or recent graduate interested in non-profits or international development, you can gain experience in a variety of areas to prepare you for your career.