When I was growing up in a remote village of Sudan, I witnessed the lack of access to basic education and what that can do to young boys’ and girls’ lives. Without education, girls are forced to either marry early or stay home helping their families with the house chores and thus limiting future prospects. For boys, without education, they become vulnerable to recruitments as child soldiers or are forced to become homeless roaming the streets and becoming vulnerable to be exploited as child laborers. Most children find themselves having to choose between staying in schools or dropping out to support their families to make ends meet. Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan are one of the two countries in the world with the lowest basic education enrollment and school infrastructure preparedness. It is our duty as global citizens to promote education, health awareness, economic empowerment of women, and empowering the youth.

It is not a coincidence that Sudan, the Republic of South Sudan, and many other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, suffer from the absence of stable learning environments and educational equipment for their pupils given the long intractable conflicts in the region. In our own experience, while attending primary school starting at age 7, we sat in the dirt because our school could not provide us chairs. This memory haunts us as we know that the learning environment has not changed in the last 40 years.  A thatched hut was our classroom, and it was built from grass and timbers. Teachers had nothing to work with as the classroom lacked the most basic teaching materials (boards, pens, desks, chairs, pencils, etc). The dedication of the teachers showed through as some were not getting their salaries sometimes for as long as 6 months of the school year or had to arrive late in the school year, but yet these teachers persevered against the odds and stayed invested in teaching the pupils. To entice these teachers to continue teaching, our parents and the local communities in the absence of funding from the Sudan central government would take matters into their own hands by sharing their farming crops with the teachers as payment.

School-aged children in Sudan and South Sudan do not have to suffer these conditions and their given potentials. Kele Global is dedicated to improving the livelihoods of children through basic education to pave the way for their future. Moreover, KG will help train teachers to become qualified and well trained to educate children and youth. A deficit of compassion will not get us to achieve this dream that they so urgently desire. Only sharing and caring about them will make their future a better place for generations to come.

Annie and I believe that we exist on this planet to play our part in improving our world and communities; hence, we choose to exercise the force of good within us to get act as a catalyst of change and get the underprivileged communities in Sudan and South Sudan, which are emerging from protracted conflicts to become more self-sustainable. please join us to achieve and work towards something bigger than ourselves that is worth living and fighting for every single day. Every child deserves to sit at a desk and take notes off a blackboard with a pencil in hand because every child deserves an education.

Founders Hashem Mekki & Annie Smiley