SASTA recently donated 1150 Biology books to One in Four Children Inc. to be sent to schools in the Nuba Mountains, Sudan. Find out more about how this organisation came to be and how these books will be put to use from founder, Stephen Kamal below.
I recall back then, what it was like beginning the foundational years of my school life in a war-ravaged country. Our homes and livelihoods, hospitals, churches and schools were destroyed by constant aerial bombardments. We studied under trees completely at the mercy of the weather. We had neither books to read nor books to write on. Rocks became our classroom chairs, the tree our blackboard, the barren ground our book and our index finger our writing implement.
The war in the Nuba mountains has continued for over 30 years. Between 2011 and 2015 we saw another scorched earth policy by the Sudanese government when they destroyed more than 100 of 141 schools by burning them to the ground in targeted aerial campaigns. The great news is that many areas are now liberated from government insurgency. Rebuilding is underway, but life hasn’t changed a great deal from when I left the Nuba Mountains in 1996. Many children are still without an education. In fact, 1 in 3 are illiterate. We have instances of schools with more than 1700 students, 15 teachers and no books with which to teach or read. This is not isolated! This is the everyday reality of many of the schools in the Nuba Mountains and most parts of South Sudan.
The education system is almost not existent. We know that education is not only a human right, but it is also the single guarantor of liberation and prosperity. The fact that so many are without an education means that they will continue to experience an intergenerational cycle of trauma, poverty and hunger which is the root cause of all the suffering.
Our mission is to eradicate poverty by building a future where all children can read and write through education and knowledge sharing. Every book we donate opens up a window of opportunity to a new kind of future, one in which every child can live a life of dignity.
Our key priorities right now are to deliver 1 million books to the region within 2 years and work with “existing” schools in the region to set up libraries and provide volunteer led community-based literacy programs. Plans are also being drafted for the construction of Hope Library which will be used as a command centre for providing teacher-based instruction among other things.
Getting the books is one thing but shipping the books is especially challenging. People wanting to help can do so in one of three ways:
- Donate books to towards our 1 million books of Hope Campaign.
- Donate through our website www.oneinfourchildren.org to help us get the books there.
- Donate their time to help to build an education system from scratch
Anyone wanting more information can reach out to us via email firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the website for more information: https://oneinfourchildren.org/
Find out more in the recent news article about Stephen Kamal here: https://catholicleader.com.au/news/stephen-kamal-is-sending-a-container-chocked-with-30000-books-to-the-other-side-of-the-world