Aserela — Committed to nourishing the mind, body, and spirit
of the people of South Sudan instilling in them self-reliance, self esteem, and hope.
We’re delighted to report the humble Nyolo school has become a focal point of great pride for the region. But reemerging war in the country (100 kilometers north) has impacted enrollment. Last year we happily reported a rise from 360 to 700 students with many more girls attending. Sadly, attendance has dropped to 478 this semester due to concerns of starvation. Many pupils have left the school for now as a matter of survival, foraging for food and fruit in the wild to help their families. Please join us in Woburn, Ma. Nov. 5th, or donate to our fundraising campaign for the children. Together we ARE changing lives for the better. Thank you so very much!
Upcoming fundraiser event: Sunday, November 5th from 1pm – 5pm.Support peace and education for the children of South Sudan.
Mary Otto, President of Aserela USA and a resident of Portland, Maine, will bring you wonderful stories and insights about what life is like in the region of South Sudan where she grew up… which is where the Nyolo Hope School is located… and about all the progress being made as Aserela helps the community become more self-reliant and build the school that is the focal point of activity and pride for this region.
Please join us November 5th at 1pm.
St. Anthony Club of North Woburn
1020 Main Street
Available at the door for $15 each, or $120 for a table of 8. For additional information, call 857-266-5728 or 781-354-8012.
Unable to attend?
If you are unable to attend, but would like to support our humanitarian mission, consider making a donation through our website. Or call us at the phone numbers above. (All Aserela board members and staff are volunteers. All funds go toward improvements at the school.) Together we make a difference!
Sadly, once again South Sudan is facing great challenges with unrest in the north of the country. Although (and fortunately) the Nyolo Hope School is located in Magwi County the state of Eastern Equatoria, about 60 miles south of the capital, Juba… many families of school students are still being impacted. Food shortages and the threat of starvation is real for some families. So children of these families often stay home from school to assist with farming or foraging for food in the wild. As a result, attendance at the school, which hovered around 700 students in early 2016, is now averaging about 475 students.
Some good news that has happened in 2016: the school received desks for all eight classrooms from an American non-governmental aid organization much to the delight of students who were sitting on makeshift benches, chairs brought from home, or on the dirt floor of the classrooms.
Other 2016 Highlights:
1. The storm damaged roofs of the three school building was partially repaired in mid-April 2016. However, 11 metal roof sheets are still needed to restore one building’s roof. Aserela USA is working hard to raise the additional funds to resolve that problem.
2. Aserela USA received three very generous donations this summer totaling $550, including a very kind donation from the children and families of the Abundant Life Church School in Wilmington, Massachusetts.
3. Aserela also received the kind donation of a laptop computer for the School. It was the students’ first exposure in their lives to actually using a computer. Like all kids, using the laptop has led to lots of lively engagement and fun, and learning for the students.
Aserela’s 2016 – 2017 Goals:
We have an ambitious fundraising goal again. This time we hope, through the many kind donations of individuals and organizations, to raise $15,000 to install windows and doors in our three rudimentary school classroom buildings, plus add floors and wall plastering to the rooms.
1 Aserela was founded in 1994 in Maine, USA. Our 501c(3) non-profit builds self-reliance among the South Sudanese people, both in newly independent South Sudan and for those refugees who’ve re-settled in Maine. South Sudan gained independence in 2011 after decades of devastating civil war. Unfortunately the emerging republic continues to struggle with political turmoil and battles along the northern part of the country, impacting progress toward democratic ideals, improved infrastructure, education, health and well-being of its citizens. Especially effected are the rural, poor villages.
Aserela knows that the success of South Sudan depends on lifting up and preparing the nation’s youth to be future leaders, and a good education is the cornerstone. The slogan of the Nyolo Hope School is Today learners. Tomorrow leaders. Our ability to help ensure South Sudan’s turnabout from a sad and tragic past depends solely on the generosity of our volunteers and good people like you who donate to our programs and projects.
2 Aserela’s mission is to work with one small “forgotten” region near the South Sudan and Ugandan border to solve some very large intractable challenges that face this rural area and new nation. Roughly 50% of South Sudanese are under age 14. Many are orphaned. The illiteracy rate is nearly 95%. Female illiteracy in South Sudan is ranked worst in the world. In rural villages, a school is a unifying focus for the community. In the Nyolo region it has helped bridge differences with four diverse tribes.
Aserela’s efforts, though challenged by a distance of thousands of miles, is bringing education and literacy to village children eager to learn. With volunteers here in Maine… and local labor, dedicated volunteers, and involved parents in Nyolo… the construction of a wonderful primary school for 700 students is slowly but surely being accomplished. Together we ARE changing lives.
3A new page has been added to our website… Progress Updates… found under About Aserela in the menu atop each page. This page contains previous stories, information, and reports relating to the Nyolo Hope School as a way of tracking the progress of our mission, the achievements at the school, and the people involved with the good work we do together. Our latest news will appear on our home page in the Update section (see above) as information becomes available to us from the Nyolo Hope School.
Aserela’s current project: Purchasing and installing doors and windows for the Nyolo Hope Primary School, the only school in Nyolo/Kit region, South Sudan (pop. 60,000). We are proud that students are now attending classes in a (mostly) dry school. The three rudimentary brick buildings housing classrooms and a school office are well-built, though they still lack windows, doors, flooring and plastering in most classrooms.