During the 10/11 financial year Timpir has continued its partnership with Wäramoth Primary School and has begun to support a second school, Mabok Primary School. During this period, Timpir has utilised $8,992.77 for projects and admin costs relating to project implementation in South Sudan. The bulk of this has been spent on teacher salaries with $7,256.00 being paid to teachers across the two schools.
The Timpir financial year has covered the last half of the 2010 academic year and the first half of the 2011 academic year in South Sudan. From July to December 2010 Timpir employed between 5 and 6 teachers at Wäramoth Primary School (depending on teacher availability and student numbers) and a watchman. Student numbers during this time varied depending on whether children were needed at home to assist their families with farming duties. They ranged from just over 300 at some points during the year to the low 200s during harvest time. The students were in Years 1 to 5, with the majority being in the lower grades and significantly more boys attending school than girls.
Wäramoth Primary School opened for the 2011 academic year in early April with 246 students registered (56 students in Year 1, 55 students in Year 2, 48 students in Year 3, 65 students in Year 4, 22 students in Year 5 and 12 students in Year 6). While Timpir was able to employ 6 teachers from January to June 2011, on the whole it has been difficult for Timpir to find enough teachers with appropriate levels of education to teach the students. As the students are progressing up the year levels, with those who started Year 3 at the school in 2008 now in Year 6, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find teachers with high enough levels of education to teach these students. This is a problem across South Sudan, particularly in regional areas, where the general education levels of the population are low and teaching in a regional area is not a particularly attractive employment option.
During the long summer holidays in early 2011, Timpir provided Wäramoth Primary School with $550 to undertake maintenance of the school building which was built in 2007. As the structures are all built from local traditional materials they require regular maintenance and replacement. This money was used by the community to replace the roofing beams on the school building and rethatch the roof (see below).
In early 2011, one of Timpir’s board members, Gai Bol, travelled to South Sudan on a self-funded trip to visit his family. During this time he was approached by his local community, Mabok, who had started a local school which was staffed by volunteer teachers and run under trees and in basic small structures (see below). The school community asked Gai if there was any way that he could help support the school. Gai returned to Australia and broached this suggestion with the Timpir board who had been considering supporting another school in South Sudan following the referendum (which took place in January 2011). Timpir agreed to begin supporting Mabok Primary School by initially paying the salaries of two teachers. Paying these two teachers approximately AU$125 each per month enables them to work at the school full time without having to subsistence farm to maintain their livelihoods. This support was commenced in April 2011. Mabok Primary School opened the 2011 academic year in April with approximately 270 students in Years 1-6. It is planned that in the 11/12 financial year Timpir will be able to increase its support of Mabok Primary School with the provision of teaching resources and infrastructure development.
While Timpir’s overall spending on projects in South Sudan in the 10/11 year was significantly less than in the previous two years (largely due to the lack of travel of board members to Wäramoth to implement and assess projects), Timpir has continued its partnership and support of Wäramoth Primary School. In addition having begun a partnership with a second school, Mabok Primary School, allows much scope for further development, support and partnerships with these schools in the coming year.
There are plans for several projects in the coming year which will be possible through the self-funded travel of four Timpir board members and two volunteers to South Sudan in early 2012. These plans include: ongoing support of Wäramoth and Mabok Primary Schools through the provision of teaching and learning resources, infrastructure building and maintenance, payment of teacher salaries, distribution of approximately 100 mosquito nets to families to prevent malaria, provision of wheelchairs to 10 people identified with mobility disorders and a basic health assessment of Wäramoth region to assess the need and feasibility of a health clinic in this region.
We would like to thank the Timpir members, donors and the board for their continued support which has enabled us to continue and expand our partnerships and projects in South Sudan in the 10/11 financial year. We look forward to your continued support in the coming year to ensure that we are able to implement the many important initiatives we have planned for 11/12.
Gai Bol Deng Gai, Project Director (Mabok)
Melanie Baak, Acting Project Director (Wäramoth)