The Seeds of Wisdom Board is very pleased to inform you of the unanimous decision at our June 2014 board meeting to initiate our project and begin building a school in Father John’s hometown of Yei, South Sudan. A great deal has been accomplished since this journey began almost 4 years ago and we are so excited to truly make Fr John’s dream a reality. In partnership with all of you, and through the grace of the Holy Spirit, we are able to take this next step.
What does “initiation” mean?
Previously, we’ve been in the planning and fundraising stages, but now that initiation has occurred, we will purchase the school buildings, start paying the site administrator to get the land cleared, hire a headmaster, and move forward with the other necessary steps.
In order to initiate, we needed enough donations and pledges to purchase and ship the school buildings, which is more than covered by the $500,000+ total we had reached as of June 2014. Beyond construction costs, our total initial fundraising goal will pay for teacher and administrator salaries, security fence installation, latrines, landscaping, food, labor, books, uniforms, housing, wells, and everything else needed to run a school for two years.
We also needed to be comfortable with sending people over and building a school, which was dependent on the social and political environment. Luckily, Yei is relatively free from the conflicts occurring in the northern part of the country, and we have many local supporters in the Yei community to work with us from South Sudan and help resolve any obstacles that come up.
What are the next steps?
Our first step in initiating the project is placing the order for the buildings. We are in the process of placing that order and we expect them to ship by the end of July, with arrival expected in the November/December time frame.
We have hired a local site administrator who will play a lead role in the coordination of efforts to complete the construction of the buildings. He will also work closely with a US Headmaster to facilitate hiring staff and teachers and prepare for the academic needs of the students. The US Headmaster position has been posted in a variety of locations. The US Headmaster will work side-by-side with an African headmaster in the operations of the school with the eventual goal of passing the full leadership of the school on to the African Headmaster.
Interested in the position of US Headmaster or know someone who would be a great addition to our school? Learn more about the job requirements and application here.
3. Trip to Yei
A team from the Board, along with Father Mahon, is planning a two-week visit to Yei in late October. During this trip, the team will spend time with Father John’s people in order to understand the expectations and realities for both the people of Yei and the Board and community of St John the Evangelist. This team will also also be working with the local people putting in some “sweat equity” to prepare the area for the buildings. It is our goal to have the Headmaster hired by October so he/she can join us in these experiences and preparations for the start of school in 2015.
What can I do to contribute?
We couldn’t have gotten this far without the generous contributions from our supporters. It means a great deal to us that our Rochester area community is so willing to give your money, time, prayers, and efforts. You all are truly the face of God to both our organization and to the future students of Yei.
We ask for your prayers for everyone involved in this amazing endeavor as we take this next step. We will send out periodic email updates to our donors, and you can also follow us on Facebook for more information. If you have any questions at any time, please feel free to contact us.
God bless you all.