On July 9, 2011 the Republic of South Sudan became the newest country to join the global community. South Sudan had been engaged in a civil war with the North since independence in the mid-1950s. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed between the north and the south in January 2005 ended the most recent 20 year segment of that civil war. It had been fought almost entirely in the south destroying its economic base and undermining any real civilian governance structures in the south.
CELD was introduced to the community of Gudelle on the outskirts of Juba. It is populated by families returning to South Sudan after the civil war seemed to be over. A large portion of the community are families that had been displaced during the war.
The local government provided no services to this new community. The children had to travel several hours each day to attend school. The citizens of Gudelle were not satisfied with this situation. The first thing they did was take it upon themselves to improve the educational opportunities for their children. Relying solely on contributions from the community, they started building one school room each year so their children could get an education in their community..
CELD made two small grants to Gudelle to support their efforts. The first grant was to help finish the fourth school room that had not been completed due to the lack of resources. The second grant was made so that a latrine could be constructed.
Once again we see that citizens at the grassroots level are taking the initiative to identify and address community problems. The energy and entrepreneurial initiative of these citizens give hope for the future of the Republic of South Sudan and are an inspiration to all.