April 2014 Updates

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April has been a month of growth for Marial Bai Secondary School. During the current conflict in South Sudan, keeping MBSS open while many other schools are closed and increasing enrollment has been more important than ever. MBSS gives students an alternative to engaging in the unrest and promotes peace by meeting our students most basic needs. The students who graduate from MBSS each year are some of the best educated in the country and hold the future of South Sudan. This year we have more students, teachers, and families to support in our programs and your donations have already supplied more beds, books, and food to accomodate our daily operations. 

The VAD Foundation is also focusing on growing the sustainability projects. As the rainy season begins, so does planting on the school farm. Dedication to an organic and sustainable agriculture model is teaching our learning community important principles of farming never before seen in the area. Educating both growers and eaters involved in the programs about nutrition, biology, and agriculture processes is fighting food insecurity and malnutrition in the community.  

With more students, MBSS needed to expand the science lab; it is now the most advanced nationwide. Integrating science and vocational skills in every aspect of the MBSS curriculm is imperative to supporting overall development in our communities. One of the first experiments in the new lab was to show changing chemical properties through the production of soap. Not only did the students fulfill their textbook requirements, but they then recreated the process to the larger Marial Bai community. The campus has been using the soap products made, instead of purchasing soap that has been imported to the country. One of our newest teachers is using his expertise to head the initiative to expand the school farm to accomodating bee colonies already inhabiting the area for honey production. Like using soap students produced in chemistry classes, study of our bee colonies in biology adds an interactive teaching element and gives the campus a natural sweetener so they will no longer need to use sugar imported to the region. Your support empowers our students to learn about the richness of local resources available and gives the community tools to autonomy. 

You can expand our $21/Monthly program! Are you up to the challenge? A special group of donors make sure that our students' most basic needs are met each month. By donating just $21 USD a month, you sponsor a student and carry them through their secondary education in Marial Bai.

If you are not in a position to make a monetary donation, you can still help. Spread the word by forwarding our newsletter to a friend. You have the power to grow our online community by checking us out on Facebookor following VADF on Twitter. We post news and positive articles about the latest happenings in South Sudan along with keeping you updated on our projects in Marial Bai. You can make a difference by recruiting your own community to help join the cause. Share the work you are making possible and educate others on what still needs to be done in South Sudan.    

Our warmest gratitude, 

The VAD Foundation

Yvonne Chen