When you support VAD you support girls' education!

Alok Girls’ Academy in Aweil, South Sudan 

 Our inaugural class of 160 girls in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 have finished their first month of school and are doing great! Thank you for making the dream of getting an education a reality for these girls. We will keep you posted on their progress in the coming months. To help us provide the girls with school uniforms, donate  HERE  today. 

Our inaugural class of 160 girls in grades 5, 6, 7, and 8 have finished their first month of school and are doing great! Thank you for making the dream of getting an education a reality for these girls. We will keep you posted on their progress in the coming months. To help us provide the girls with school uniforms, donate HERE today. 


 (Pictured above from left to right: Daniel Davis of Alucik, Valentino, and Mascha Davis)   Alucik jewelry  is donating 15% of proceeds to VAD. Enter NOMADISTA into the promo code to receive a 15% discount on your purchases.  VAD’s Advisory Council member Mascha Davis brought her passion for jewelry and her commitment to helping VAD together by co-designing beautiful pieces of jewelry with Alucik Jewelry. Mascha worked in South Sudan for 5 years and the pieces were inspired by South Sudan’s cultural arts.

(Pictured above from left to right: Daniel Davis of Alucik, Valentino, and Mascha Davis)

Alucik jewelry is donating 15% of proceeds to VAD. Enter NOMADISTA into the promo code to receive a 15% discount on your purchases.

VAD’s Advisory Council member Mascha Davis brought her passion for jewelry and her commitment to helping VAD together by co-designing beautiful pieces of jewelry with Alucik Jewelry. Mascha worked in South Sudan for 5 years and the pieces were inspired by South Sudan’s cultural arts.


Success Story from Marial Bai Secondary School Graduate

 Meet Yel Anei - Aspiring Civil Engineer  Yel was born in 1988 near Marial Bai in the village of Manyiel. Everyone in Yel’s family was illiterate. During the war, he first stayed with his father to help protect the family’s cattle. But with constant school interruption, his father sent him to the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya when he was fifteen. After peace came to South Sudan in 2005, Yel returned home to Manyiel and finished primary school.  Yel was so excited by the opening of Marial Bai Secondary School. He applied and gratefully joined the inaugural freshman class.  He remembers struggling with math during freshman year, but then falling in love with physics. He fondly remembers doing experiments in the science lab - complete with microscopes, Bunsen burners, and chemicals. In 2012, he was a member of the first graduating class. He remembers celebrating with all the students’ families, singing traditional songs and dancing traditional dances.  After graduation, he moved to Juba and underwent the complicated process of applying to university. He was accepted into the University of Rajasthan in India to study civil engineering. It was a tough academic curriculum but he got through it. He recently graduated and is going back to Juba where he hopes to get a job building South Sudan’s roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure throughout the country needs.

Meet Yel Anei - Aspiring Civil Engineer

Yel was born in 1988 near Marial Bai in the village of Manyiel. Everyone in Yel’s family was illiterate. During the war, he first stayed with his father to help protect the family’s cattle. But with constant school interruption, his father sent him to the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya when he was fifteen. After peace came to South Sudan in 2005, Yel returned home to Manyiel and finished primary school.

Yel was so excited by the opening of Marial Bai Secondary School. He applied and gratefully joined the inaugural freshman class.

He remembers struggling with math during freshman year, but then falling in love with physics. He fondly remembers doing experiments in the science lab - complete with microscopes, Bunsen burners, and chemicals. In 2012, he was a member of the first graduating class. He remembers celebrating with all the students’ families, singing traditional songs and dancing traditional dances.

After graduation, he moved to Juba and underwent the complicated process of applying to university. He was accepted into the University of Rajasthan in India to study civil engineering. It was a tough academic curriculum but he got through it. He recently graduated and is going back to Juba where he hopes to get a job building South Sudan’s roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure throughout the country needs.


2nd Annual L.A. Celebrity Storytelling Event

 (Pictured above from left to right, storytellers: Hayley Terris, Henry Mortensen, Jenna Brister, Joe Tower, Dina Morrone)  Storytelling is an important part of South Sudanese culture. It is a source of education, knowledge and history. That is why we have chosen to honor this practice by hosting an annual storytelling event in Los Angeles. This year's event featured six of L.A's best storytellers who shared personal stories of growth, gratitude and courage in an effort to raise funds for our second campus, The Alok Girls Academy in Aweil. We were humbled by the support and generosity of this beautiful community and we look forward to continuing this tradition next year! 

(Pictured above from left to right, storytellers: Hayley Terris, Henry Mortensen, Jenna Brister, Joe Tower, Dina Morrone)

Storytelling is an important part of South Sudanese culture. It is a source of education, knowledge and history. That is why we have chosen to honor this practice by hosting an annual storytelling event in Los Angeles. This year's event featured six of L.A's best storytellers who shared personal stories of growth, gratitude and courage in an effort to raise funds for our second campus, The Alok Girls Academy in Aweil. We were humbled by the support and generosity of this beautiful community and we look forward to continuing this tradition next year! 


Highlights from Valentino’s Speaking Engagements

 Valentino spent nearly all of April speaking at colleges and conferences and attending events hosted by our incredible Board and Advisory Council members.  Valentino spoke at the Conference on World Affairs at CU Boulder, Portland State University and at Mercy Corp. with World Oregon in Portland, Oregon.  At each event, Valentino created a heartfelt connection with the audience and was asked to come back next year. We are so grateful for these events and the new friends we made. 

Valentino spent nearly all of April speaking at colleges and conferences and attending events hosted by our incredible Board and Advisory Council members.

Valentino spoke at the Conference on World Affairs at CU Boulder, Portland State University and at Mercy Corp. with World Oregon in Portland, Oregon.

At each event, Valentino created a heartfelt connection with the audience and was asked to come back next year. We are so grateful for these events and the new friends we made.