UMCOR Sudan: Educating Educators
April 22, 2008—South Sudan continues to make the first fragile steps of recovery after the longest-running civil war in Africa's history. People are returning by the thousands to restart their lives in their homeland. But first they have to rebuild what was lost.
The United Methodist Committee on Relief has been working in South Sudan since 2006 to help returning refugees. UMCOR's main program in South Sudan is education. By building schools, providing children with school supplies and training teachers, UMCOR is helping to improve the lives of Sudan's next generation.
The schools not only help the children who attend, but the teachers as well. Rose is a 22 year-old social studies teacher at Jigomoni Primary School in Yei Town, South Sudan. She taught at nursery schools for six years in neighboring Uganda, but when she returned to South Sudan in 2007 she was denied teaching jobs because of her lack of formal training.
A Fast Track to Education
When she interviewed at Jigomoni, the head master was initially unable to offer her a position, but he recognized her potential and recommended her to receive teacher's training through UMCOR Sudan's program. The one month "fast track" program gave Rose what she needed to have a teaching certificate. "Doing the UMCOR training course helped me so much," said Rose. "It taught me how to plan my lessons, better ways to teach my classes, and gave me teaching materials I can use to help my students to learn better."
Upon graduation she was hired at Jigomoni Primary School to be their new social studies teacher. "The best thing about the course was that it made it possible for me to teach at a primary school instead of nursery school," Rose explains. "I still use the teaching materials that I received in the course and I can make more money to support my family."
How You Can Help
UMCOR has been working in Sudan since 2005 with offices in Khartoum, South Darfur and South Sudan. UMCOR's programs encourage development such as, agricultural support, skills training, primary school reconstruction and rehabilitation, and water point construction and rehabilitation. You can give to UMCOR's ongoing ministries in Sudan through Sudan Emergency, UMCOR Advance #184385.