Congrats To Our Graduates

Friends, If you are like me you are not very impressed that a student is graduating from primary school. After all, isn’t that a pretty low expectation for a person in the US? But imagine you live in a country where only 16% of the children ever begin school, and only 1.9% complete primary school. South Sudan has the highest illiteracy rate in the world. And they have the lowest immunization rate in the world. The country has experience civil war for most of the past 60 years.These statistics are not news for South Sudan. But in addition to their already destitute plight, they have suffered intense fighting between the government military and a rebel military force over the past 2 years. As a result 2.3 million people have fled their homes and villages to live in refugee camps. Nearly 4 million are facing severe food shortage. The International Red Cross says South Sudan is second only to Syria as the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. That is the bad news. Now for the good news. On December 19th Living Water Community Transformation (known as Akot Christian Ministries in South Sudan) celebrated the graduation of 35 eighth grade students from their two Christian Primary Schools, Living Water Primary and Abundant Life Primary. Most of these graduates attended all of their classes outside under a tree for the full eight years. The rainy season is 6 months long, and the other 6 months of the year are swelteringly hot. For most students the only meal they eat each day is provided at school. And many pupils own no clothes other than their school uniform. Education is critically important for the future of South Sudan. As I look at this picture I have to fight back tears of joy. I can say that I am indeed impressed by these students who are graduating from primary school, considering all of the challenges they face. We are so very proud of these young people for their accomplishment. I know that if they could, they would say to you, “we could not have done it without your support”. So on behalf of the students, their families, and the whole community of Akot, I want to say “yin ca leec (thank you) for your prayers and financial support. It is making a very big difference now, and no doubt on the future of South Sudan”. Nhialic abi thiei (Dinka for God bless you), Mama Ayen (aka:Ann Rao) – See more at: