Gananda Middle School seventh-graders recently presented a $1,200 donation to Building Minds in South Sudan.
Founded by Sebastian Maroundit and Mathon Noi, BMISS is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to African villagers in the republic of South Sudan. The organization seeks to restore hope by providing education to those affected by conflict.
Students read “A Long Walk to Water” by Linda Sue Park through their English literature and arts curriculum. The book is based on the true story of Salva Dut, a Lost Boy of South Sudan who fled his hometown during the Second Sudanese Civil War.
Maroundit, also a Lost Boy, fled his home at the same time as Dut. Students heard from Maroundit firsthand, and learned of his trials and tribulations.
To contribute to the organization, students raised money by soliciting sponsorships from family, friends and neighbors in exchange for walking a portion of the 1,000-mile goal set for the class. The miles commemorated the 1,000-mile journey each of the Lost Boys took when fleeing South Sudan.
“Our relationship with Sebastian reinforces that students can affect change worlds away from Gananda,” said Aimee Campbell, ELA teacher. “This subject also helps remind us how grateful we should be for what we have.”