South Sudan - A project that will remain in history: 100 primary schools for the country

05 June 2018

(ANS - Juba) - 74 elementary schools built, almost 15,000 children included in the educational cycle, countless families and communities benefiting: these are some of the numbers of the project launched in 2012 by the Salesian Missionary Office "Don Bosco Nanum", based in Seoul, South Korea, for the construction of 100 schools in the rural areas of the youngest country on the African continent: South Sudan.

In the monthly newsletter of May sent to Don Bosco's benefactors, donors and friends, the Director of "Don Bosco Nanum" announced the closure of the project, due to the circumstances in which, unfortunately, today this country finds itself in, with millions of civilians fleeing from clashes and forced to take refuge in neighboring countries, such as Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Ethiopia.

Despite the closure of the project to three quarters of the result initially planned, it does not diminish the enormous importance of what has been done, which has succeeded in providing thousands of disadvantaged children with the most important resource for the future of the country: education.

The project was inspired by the visionary idea of two experienced Italian Salesian missionaries, Fr Vincenzo Donati and Salesian Brother Giacomo (Jim) Comino, who after many years of mission in South Korea, were assigned to the East Africa Province (to which the Salesian centers in South Sudan belong respectively) in 1981 and 1992, respectively. Initially many doubted the feasibility of such a large educational project, but their courageous and engaging invitation to generosity was welcomed with enthusiasm by many people of good will, including the then Provincial of East Africa, Fr Gianni Rolandi, and Fr Pascual Chávez, then Rector Major, who gave his assent to the initiative at the end of the Team Visit to the Africa-Madagascar region of 2012.

The 74 new schools erected, each with four classrooms, are the result of the gestures of generosity and solidarity of many people: from the well-known and more affluent - like the Olympic and World ice skating champion Kim Yu-na who, after his conversion to Christianity, alone donated the sum necessary for the construction of a school, as well as those who silently donated a part of their savings. In detail, the lion's share are the Korean benefactors, who supported 51 schools, followed by Italian donors, with 18, and the United States (2), Austria (2) and Germany (1).

Six years after its launch, the "One Hundred Village Schools" project remains a great example and an inspiration for the whole Salesian world to aim high whenever it has to do with the education of children or poor young people.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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