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 accommodate our daily operations.
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 curriculum 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 accommodate 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.