Sudan Fund Outcomes
First, expected outcomes include improved health primarily in the areas of preventive and population health through training of clinic workers and regular supply of basic equipment and medications. A functional clinic facility was constructed in 2008 with a grant from AAR Japan. Volunteer medical personnel (nationals) are recruited and partially trained on basic disease identification and treatment. Training was completed by medical personnel from USA. Further training is required as well as economic support for the clinic (supplies and medicine).
Second, in the field of education, progress has been made. The Sudanese government authorized a United Nations grant to build 3 school buildings in 2008 (prior to that time, teaching was done in the open spaces – “under the tree”). Families are encouraged to send children to school. In 2011, community leadership encouraged young girls to attend school as well (normally not done in South Sudan). In addition, a food welfare program was started to prepare one meal for the children attending school (beans and water). There is one trained teacher for the community. In 2014 (December) a community leader is expected to complete formal training at Juba University to return to the community as the ‘head teacher’ and program leader. Additional trained teachers and newer teaching methods are desired. Improved graduation from primary school (elementary school) and higher test results for secondary education (high school) are strongly held community goals. Students that can attend school in UN sanctioned border refugee camps are encouraged to do so and take advantage of more advanced curriculum.
Third, the community also seeks Christian development including a church building. Highland Community Church pledged to fund the church building construction and donated along with a contractual agreement were in place by 2010. A building design was rapidly completed and construction started by early 2011. Construction was completed in 2012 and a subsequent team of missionaries installed solar power to the facility. In December 2012 a community dedication ceremony launched the church for services. The building is the largest known Christian Church in South Sudan. In addition, the community requires additional trained pastors to evangelize, counsel and teach throughout the villages for the betterment of the church. Currently there is one apprentice trained pastor living in the community of 14,000. By December 2014, the first trained pastor (bachelor degree in Divinity Studies) completed training and was installed in the church. The majority of South Sudanese are nominally Christian and integration into society has aided in national identity, cultural development and more stability within South Sudan.
Fourth, the community has identified the need for project management and community development skills. The entire area lacks even the most basic elements of infrastructure (both physical and process/outcomes). To achieve this goal, nationals trained in program and community development, human resources management and business are needed. An ongoing effort to identify and create a community development plan with specific timelines and outcomes is identified.
Fifth, there is a need for improved farming practices and improved nutritional practices. With limited food types and antiquated farming practices there is also a need to improve crop and animal diversity and upgrade farming techniques. Agriculture is limited to traditional/labor intensive practices and limited livestock (cattle, goats) and limited crops (ground nuts, sorghum and millet seed). Limited agricultural diversity and outdated methods leaves the community vulnerable to malnutrition, food shortages and crop/livestock disease. The desired outcome is to have one or more persons trained in agricultural methods and food sciences to improve farming practices and diet/nutrition.
Finally, with no means of generating and sustaining wealth, the basic economy remains in a subsistence level. Early on, trainers from USA introduced the basic business practices of planning, money management and savings/loans. Using sound principles of micro-finance, an initial grant formed a rudimentary banking system that is now locally governed. A pool of capital funds are tapped for loans and terms of loan repayments are managed locally. Micro-enterprise has led to a noticed improvement in the local economy. The desired outcome is community based economy that engenders prudent risk-taking and the ability for households to move out of subsistence living.