The initial school in Pure was composed only of grades P1-P4 (1st to 4th grade) and had approximately 100 students. Classes were held in mud huts as well as under a mango tree and there was no opportunity for school past the 4th grade.
A Pre-School was essential for the children of Pure. With an adult illiteracy rate of 80%, the children who began P1 were completely unprepared for school and needed a way to prepare the for their educational path.
In 2013, a private donor fully sponsored the creation of a pre-school. The government of South Sudan committed to provide three teachers, but did not have funds budgeted to pay salaries or provide supplies for the students in Pre-School. A teacher's salary is approximately $900 per year and student supplies are $10 per student, so annual operating expenses are projected to be $4000. Pure Joy is soliciting individual donations to support this initiative.
In 2013, Pure Joy Foundation began working with the government of South Sudan, party leaders, the village and Payam chiefs, local elders and the community to develop a complete educational path for the next generation of South Sudanese.
In 2013, Pure Joy worked with the government of South Sudan to construct a new permanent P1-P4 facility. Pure Joy drilled a clean water well at the school which now allows children to attend school and still complete their primary chores of ferrying water to support their families. The community added an additional mud hut that allowed for a 5th grade class to be started and student enrollment climbed to 180+ students.
Pure Joy also installed a solar system that allows the facility to be used in the evening for adult learning, while also providing supplementary income for the teachers.
In order to continue past P4, the children of Pure were required to hike over 3 miles through difficult terrain to Uganda. As such, few students continued their education to P5. Pure Joy worked with the Ministry of Education, senior leadership of the SPLM (ruling party) and the leadership of the village, the payam and the county to build a P5-P8 facility.
The government provided additional land, as well as access to government-owned land to collect natural materials required to construct the additional facilities. The community cleared the land, excavated the foundation, collected large and small stones needed for the foundation, timber needed for the structure, sand and ferried water for the concrete and provided labor needed for the construction.
Pure Joy provided the remaining materials that the community was unable to procure on its own and compensated the builder for constructing the facility. Construction was completed in 2016 under the $50,000 budget and student enrollment has grown to 300+ students.
All parties believe this public-private-community project can serve as a pilot program that can be replicated throughout South Sudan.