The Foundation operates a high school in the village of Marial Bai, South Sudan. During the summer months, we assemble teams of volunteer teachers that travel to South Sudan to help build capacity at the school, assist with teaching classes, and work with the South Sudanese teachers on professional development.
We are currently monitoring the security situation on the ground in South Sudan. If the region remains peaceful, we may proceed with organizing a small team of volunteer teachers to visit the school in Marial Bai during summer or fall 2013. Unfortunately, due to the unpredictability of the current situation along the border, we will not be able to fully confirm the volunteer trip until summer 2013.
Volunteer responsibilities in Marial Bai:
-Offer classes to teachers in core content areas such as geography, chemistry, physics, economics, math, etc.
-Train teachers in teaching methods, act as a mentor and co-teach classes at the school.
-Help teachers with building the administrative structure of the school. (Creating guidelines, student/parent handbook, etc.)
Applicants with experience in administration and teaching at the high school level are encouraged to apply. Members of the South Sudanese community are strongly encouraged to apply. Teachers in all major subject areas are needed, particularly in English, ESL, math, and sciences.
Dates and length of stay: Volunteer trips will be scheduled for summer months. Ideal stay is at least 8 weeks, and volunteers who are able to stay for longer periods will be given priority. Please express your date availability, preference, and flexibility.
Language of instruction: English
The Valentino Achak Deng Foundation is a U.S.-based nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to quality education in South Sudan, where the school system was devastated after a twenty-year civil war that ended in 2005. The Foundation constructed a large secondary school in the village of Marial Bai – the first proper high school in the region – and the campus also includes a library, teacher-training college, community center, and sports facilities. The school opened in May 2009 and is currently in its fourth academic year.
Our founder, Valentino Achak Deng, was born in southern Sudan, in the village of Marial Bai. He fled Sudan in the late 1980’s during civil war, when his village was destroyed by murahaleen—the same type of militia that terrorized Darfur. Deng grew up in Ethiopian and Kenyan refugee camps, where he worked for the UNHCR as a social advocate and reproductive health educator. In 2001 he resettled to Atlanta. Deng has toured the US and Europe speaking about his life in Sudan, his experience as a refugee, and his collaboration with author Dave Eggers on What Is What, the novelized version of Deng’s life story. As a leader in the South Sudanese diaspora, Deng advocates for the universal right to education and the freedom of his people in South Sudan. In 2006, Deng and Eggers established the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation to help rebuild South Sudanese communities by increasing access to educational opportunities.
-Bachelor’s degree preferred but not required
-Teachers’ certificate preferred but not required
-Experience teaching at the high-school level preferred but not required
-Members of the Sudanese community are strongly encouraged to apply
The Foundation will provide:
-Accomodations and meals in Marial Bai
-Airport pick-up/drop-off, and ground transportation within South Sudan
-Orientation and cultural lessons
-School curriculum, syllabus, and teaching materials
NOTE: Marial Bai is located in a very remote and rural region of South Sudan, so there are few modern amenities. However, our teacher accomodations (hut-like structures made with concrete) will be clean, dry, and comfortable. Marial Bai is a peaceful village located in a safe region of South Sudan, and the Foundation takes extra security precautions to prevent any safety risks toward volunteers.
Volunteers will be responsible for:
-Airfare (flights to Kenya or Uganda, plus two additional flights within South Sudan to reach our project site)
-Travel expenses while coming to and from South Sudan
(NOTE: If qualified volunteers are unable to cover these expenses, we can help you explore fundraising options to finance your trip.)
If you are interested in this volunteer opportunity, please send completed application, or a cover letter and resume, to the Valentino Achak Deng Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org
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History of the Foundation
Founders and staff
Community development in South Sudan
Working with the South Sudanese diaspora in the U.S.
Advocacy on South Sudan policy
Comments from other authors
Interview with Dave Eggers and Valentino Achak Deng