HARVESTERS EXPANDS INTO UGANDA
Since December 2013, perpetual insecurity in South Sudan has forced over a million of its nationals to flee their homes for safety, and the numbers continue to climb.
Harvesters, who has been operating in South Sudan since 2001, is in a position to expand its reach beyond the country’s borders and into Uganda in order to help provide education for both the South Sudanese refugee children and local community kids who are eager to learn.
Uganda’s progressive model refugee protection environment is economically and socially valuable for refugees and has been highlighted by the United Nations in their revised South Sudan Regional Refugee Response Plan. Their generous asylum policy provides refugees freedom of movement, the right to work and establish businesses, the right to documentation, and access to social services. Their ‘non-camp’ settlement policy ensures that refugees are allocated relatively large plots of land that stretch over sizeable territory, allowing for both shelter and agricultural production.
The UN’s Rhino Refugee Resettlement Center near Arua, Uganda is now home to nearly 100,000 South Sudanese refugees, 80 percent of whom are children. Many refugees are from Yei and some even attended and taught at Harvesters’ Primary School before fleeing the area with their families.
Basics, such as housing and food, and other humanitarian services are provided to refugees by partner organizations including the United Nations, UNICEF, Danish and Norwegian Refugee Councils, Welt Hunger Hilfe, Oxfam, Medical Teams International and numerous others. However, educational resources are severely strained and enrollment rates are critically low. There are a few primary schools run by the government but not nearly enough to serve the children living there. Extraordinary needs for infrastructure, learning aids, teacher deployment and classroom accommodations exist.
In an effort to help meet this need, Harvesters plans to build and operate a primary school, which will serve up to 450 students when fully built.
Since Uganda is a religiously diverse nation with Christianity and Islam being the most widely professed religions, Harvesters was able to entertain operating within the country. It was determined after much discussion and analysis between Ugandan officials and Harvesters that Harvesters’ model of a quality Christian Primary School would be a good fit for Uganda’s environment.
By providing a quality Christian education, Harvesters can expand the reach of the gospel, foster self-reliance, and a longer-term solution for refugee children who have suffered from the trauma and disrupted social networks caused by the conflict in South Sudan.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR HARVESTERS SCHOOLS IN SOUTH SUDAN?
As long as security allows, Harvesters will continue to provide education for its children and the community kids in South Sudan through their Primary Schools, Vocational Training Center, and Hannah Scholarship Program.
The organization feels called to continue to serve and care for those vulnerable despite the challenges it may face along the way. So whether these children are living in Terekeka, Yei, or a resettlement center in Uganda, it is the mission of Harvesters to serve and care for them in their time of need.
UGANDA PRIMARY SCHOOL
A Primary School composed of 10 classrooms and associated facilities. The entire school will serve 450 students and when fully built it will include grade levels Preschool – Primary 7.
In April 2017, Harvesters launched its’ Uganda Primary School Project campaign to raise funds for a primary school serving South Sudanese refugee children living in the Rhino Refugee Resettlement Center near Arua, Uganda. While originally expected to take four years, fundraising for capital (building) expenses along with the first year’s operating costs was accomplished in just one year!
Therefore, this portion of the campaign has concluded. During subsequent years, funds will continue to be raised for operating expenses.
Thanks to all who have so generously supported this campaign!
Harvesters still needs your prayers and support for the future years.
Join with us so that these children can have hope for a brighter future regardless of where they live.