About South Sudan
Gaining independence from Sudan in 2011 after a long war, South Sudan is the newest country in the world. With over 60% of the population under 24 years old, it is also one of the youngest. By educating girls and young women and encouraging them to develop positive ties between formerly hostile ethnic groups, MBB contributes to South Sudan’s positive development.
“My family used to shun me because I am a widow and I am HIV positive. But now I’m also a successful business owner, so they come to me for help. I feel very proud of myself!”
“Our people have suffered too much. Now that I am educated, I can heal the sick and even save lives through nursing.”
“As MBB Scholars we are torches. We can light the whole of South Sudan.”
The MBB approach in South Sudan
Decades of war have left South Sudan with a lack of infrastructure, extremely low literacy levels, and a weak public health system. MBB addresses these disparities through programs: scholarships for high school and higher education, pre-nursing internships, leadership trainings, literacy classes for women, radio broadcasts for advocacy, and women’s micro-enterprise projects. Our program sites are in 4 of South Sudan’s 10 States (Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Lakes State, and Western Bahr Al-Ghazal), though we draw women and girls from as far away as Darfur and the Nuba Mountains.
Education and Scholarships
MBB is proud to provide nearly the entire annual budget for St. Bakhita Girls’ Primary School in Narus, South Sudan– the first and largest all-girls school in the country. MBB awards high school and college scholarships to academically talented young women who would otherwise be forced into early marriages.
Every year MBB hosts leadership training for its MBB scholars. During these workshops, scholars connect with one another across traditional tribal barriers, explore ways to improve their communities, and develop the leadership skills they need for the future.
South Sudan has the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. MBB supports a one-year internship for girls wanting to become nurses. During the internship they learn practical, hands-on skills from an experienced RN at a rural clinic. MBB rewards those who excel during their internship with scholarships to the nursing college of their choice in South Sudan.
Nearly 80% of South Sudanese are non-literate. MBB hosts literacy classes for groups of women in 6 remote villages. These classes provide the opportunity for women without any formal schooling to learn how to read and write. In the process, the women encourage one another and grow in confidence as they discover they are human beings equal to their fathers and husbands and sons.
MBB collaborates with Good News Radio in the town of Rumbek to broadcast an original 30-min program every week promoting women’s education and gender equality. The lively format includes interviews with young girls, MBB scholars, parents, teachers, and government officials.
MBB provides micro-enterprise loans to groups of rural women so that they can lift themselves and their families up from extreme poverty. After a 3-day training session, these women form “savings groups” to qualify for loans and start their small businesses. With their newfound income, women then send their children to school, rebuild their huts, provide food for their families, and pay for medicine.