Children no longer forced to study ‘under trees’ following school’s transformation

Students can now learn in dedicated classrooms

Pupils at Victor Luke Odhiambo School in South Sudan were used to having all their lessons outside “under the trees”.

They also had just a few books to share around and didn’t possess recognisable uniforms.

But this has all changed, thanks to the efforts of Jesuit groups working in the region, who are determined to give children in this unstable country a positive future.

“We used to all sit under a tree, with no proper classrooms and no toilet facilities. We didn’t even have exercise books. But things are different now, which makes us very happy,” second-form student Isaac says.

All classes were held outside in the past

Fellow pupil Monica agrees, pointing out that the school has hired additional teachers, so more students receive greater attention, and it has introduced a new red and white uniform.

Temporary toilets have been installed on-site, with plans to improve these further. There are also temporary classrooms in place, with locally based Jesuits working to secure funding for concrete ones.

The school, which is supported by Jesuit Missions, is named after Fr Victor Luke Odhiambo SJ, who was tragically murdered by militants in 2018.

Working out of Cueibet, in the centre of the country, he always stressed the need for people to “do something” when they see others in need.

This is clearly something the Jesuits and staff working at this school have taken on board.

(L-R) Pupils Isaac, Monica, Mary and Abraham talk about the school improvements

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