Southern Sudan: Reconstructed primary school handed over to local community
16 October 2009

To express their joy, pupils performed songs and traditional dances which were joined by the dignitaries.
Nimule, 16 October 2009 JRS handed over a reconstructed primary school to the local community of Iriya, near Nimule, Southern Sudan. The school comprises two classroom blocks, an administration block and four latrine blocks. Construction, which had started in early February and was accomplished in August this year, was mainly funded by the Spanish government.

The handing over ceremony was attended by over 1,300 people including government officials of different capacities, chair persons of various school bodies, leaders such as the local chief and the women’s representative, district education officials and over 600 school children. The celebration started with a prayer of blessing by the parish priest, Monsignor Julious Idda. “I ask every member of this community to pray for peace in our country and protection for our people,” he said at the end of the prayer.

After the school choir had sung a welcome song, various speeches followed. On behalf of the local community, the district education officer and the local chief expressed their appreciation for the construction of the school which was founded in 1947 and was managed by the community until it became a government school in 1974. During the civil war it was completely destroyed and had operated in temporary structures since 2007 when people returned from exile. As a sign of their appreciation the community representatives donated two goats to JRS and the local contractor. “We promise to work hand in hand with JRS to improve performance,” they said as they concluded their speech.

On behalf of JRS, Project Director Mr. Mauro Weber thanked the community and government officials at various levels for their cooperation. “I encourage you to make the maximum use of the new building and to sustain it well,” he said.

A new building for a bright future

The Director-General of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Amoko James, who was the guest of honour, confirmed the appreciations expressed by the community leaders. “The support of JRS in the area of education is not only appreciated at county level, but also at state level,” he said, affirming that the Ministry of Education will continue to collaborate with JRS in order to promote quality education. After the speeches had been delivered, the keys were finally handed over to the community.

Those attending the ceremony were excited about the new building which is also a symbol of peace for the community of Iriya. To express their joy, pupils performed songs and traditional dances which were joined by the dignitaries. 

In Pageri District, there are only four more primary schools that operate in permanent structures. Two more are not yet completed.

JRS has been present in Nimule since 1997 providing educational services and training teachers. Through the construction of permanent classroom blocks JRS helps build school infrastructure.  Currently, the organisation supports 25 primary and three secondary schools.

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