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Generous gift to Frome Rotary for a school in South Sudan

DENNIS Barnard, auctioneer at Frome Market had a very pleasant surprise when a client told him that someone wanted to make a contribution through Rotary – perhaps to an international project.

Having just presented £500 to Richard Dean, of Corsley, to support a school building project in Juba, South Sudan, this project was uppermost in his mind.

Dennis gave details of everything happening in Juba and his client’s friend immediately agreed that it was ideal. She gave him a cheque for £3,000 which was, in turn, passed onto Richard Dean who is very much involved in ensuring that all monies are spent wisely, with not a penny wasted.

The school in Juba, Richard Dean, Humphrey Barnes and the Rotary Club of Frome are so grateful to the lady for her very generous gesture. Letters of thanks and details of the project have been sent to her with very best wishes from all concerned.

After a long civil war South Sudan became an independent nation in July 2011, with high hopes for the future amid great celebrations. The country, though fertile, is underdeveloped but rich in minerals and oil. It now faces two massive problems – the first is education, only 15% of the population are literate with very many schools destroyed during the civil war. The second is loss of revenue. Oil exports which provide 95% of the country’s income, have stopped. The Northern Government have closed the pipeline.

Girls in South Sudan face extreme disadvantages in education. Only one quarter of the children taking school certificates are girls – just 400 girls from a population of 10 million. A UNESCO report states that today a young girl in South Sudan is three times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than to reach Year 8.

One of the recognised principal ways to help improve, not only these statistics, but the lives of those girls is to provide boarding accommodation. A project to build a girls boarding house for 50 girls at Juba Diocesan Secondary School was launched in 2011 and the first 40 girls will arrive in May of this year.

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