Community school will help those in greatest need
This July, some of the most physically and spiritually needy children of South Sudan will have a safe place to spend the day for the first time in their lives.
The Hope and Future children center has been a dream in the hearts of staff at OneWay’s House of Hope for the last year and is finally becoming a reality thanks to the prayers and financial support of generous partners.
Thirty-two prayerfully selected children will attend the school, joining the less than 30 percent of South Sudanese children who have the opportunity to go to school at all. On top of a Christian education, students will receive food, medical care and clothing. These children, ages six to eight, will go to school in the guarded House of Hope complex during the day, returning to their families each night.
Preparations for the school are nearly complete, thanks to generous donors who provided for the completion of a new dorm for the House of Hope girls. The Hope and Future Christian School will be held in the girls’ old dorms.
The House of Hope is a home for vulnerable girls with limited space and staff to meet the growing needs of their community. Right outside their gates, more than 80 percent of South Sudan suffers in poverty, leading to drug use, violence, illiteracy and oftentimes, starvation.
After watching her sister die of starvation, one young South Sudanese girl ran from her home, her mother threatening violence if she stayed. By God’s grace, she survived alone on the streets for more than a year before House of Hope staff found her this May, bringing her in as their newest daughter.
The House of Hope seldom has the capacity to take in more children, though, and many children like her remain homeless, vulnerable to starvation and trafficking.
“Each few weeks we have a mom at our door asking us to take her children because she cannot provide for their food and their education,” says Lily*, one of the staff members at the home.
A year ago, House of Hope staff began to dream of how they might adequately respond to such desperate need. As they searched their community for children with the highest level of need, they identified 119 children. They had space for 22.
The cemetery in Juba is public property, and people with nowhere to live use it as a makeshift home. They spend their days breaking boulders into smaller rocks, which they sell to construction companies. House of Hope staff walked these cemeteries, talking with families and praying over which students they should take in.
From selecting students and teachers to securing funding for a new building, the House of Hope grapples with many challenges as they prepare the school. But God has provided at every turn.
“We are here to just see God’s work,” Lily says. “We don’t have a committed fund to survive day to day. We live by faith financially and medically. We just see the Lord’s provision day by day. It’s very hard but it’s very precious.”
Sunday school teachers from the community received training with the House of Hope earlier this year and will teach curriculum developed by Lily, who has training in trauma care and experience in curriculum development.
They plan to add classes to accommodate more children in February 2024. Please pray for funding to increase the school’s capacity. Also pray for the children coming to the school from traumatic backgrounds and for the teachers who will minister to them, including three of the oldest House of Hope girls, who will assist the schoolteachers.