They need your help, love, & support

Jikow, South Sudan, a city on the border with Ethiopia, is home to hundreds of children orphaned by senseless war and by AIDS. Half the adults have AIDS. 70% of the community is under the age of 30. It is a Christian community; most Muslims live in (North) Sudan. But Jikow has no schools, medical care, or orphan care. The nearest school is 5 miles away. The nearest medical care is across the Nile, in Ethiopia. The only orphan care is the little that I, Dukan Diew, war widow and mother of 6, am able to send out of my salary in Des Moines, Iowa. Thank you for your help.

Jikow Orphanage

The Jikow Orphanage and School in South Sudan is a 501 c3 charitable organization. We are committed to providing special protection for the most disadvantaged victims of violence and disease, especially women and children.

We want to establish an orphanage for children who have lost their families due to the war or the HIV/AIDS pandemic in South Sudan. Even families who remain intact are often unable to feed and care for their children, so they release them into the streets to provide for themselves. They are officially classified as destitute. We want to build a center for both the orphaned children and the other destitute children of Jikow. The center will house a feeding center for the orphaned children to eat meals and have baby formula. It will also provide a safe and secure area for the village children to play. With a stable home, our youth will grow to be productive members of society.

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40 in this class

5 miles away in Natides. The man writing in the front is the teacher. He is showing the students behind him how to write. Most of these students are from Jikow, but the school is 5 miles away in Natides, Ethiopia.

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A school 5 miles away

Jikow straddles the Nile. The students on the South Sudan side of Jikow have to swim across the Nile River on the way. This means they can't take their books home, because the swim would ruin them.

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Chairs with real backs

It takes about 2 hours for the students to walk the 5 miles to school, and another two hours to walk home. There are fewer students in this class because it is the rainy season, so students can't swim across the Nile.

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The overflow classroom

I knew a student who was eaten by a crocodile in the Nile. This is a class in the refugee camp in Gambella, Ethiopia, 2-3 days away from Jikow walking, 2-3 hours away driving. Maybe once a month a teacher comes to the camp to give a lesson.

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Bamboo school house

This is a class in Jikow, taught in the summer by a student who has come home during the summer from the real school far away.

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Air conditioned classroom

This girl, also a student volunteer, has probably only graduated from 4th grade. Girls in South Sudan rarely go to school past 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade.

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Fortunate to be in school

These children are not so fortunate. The boys are too young to swim the Nile; boys need to be 10-13 before they can go to school, for that reason. The girls can't go to school because they are too old, for girls. These children are posing in front of their home in Jikow.

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There is no preschool for these orphans. They are eating corn meal mush with milk; that is usually their only meal in a day.

Jikow School

After generations of poor education in South Sudan, we want to provide academic instruction for our youth. 80% of South Sudanese individuals are illiterate and most young children born after the war have never attended school.

While we are committed to the education of all children, our main focus is on the education of young girls and women. There is a gender disparity in education; the majority of village children who receive education are boys, while Jikow girls only have a 1 % completion rate of secondary school. This is, in part, due to the "traditional" Sudanese ideology that girls should not attend school. This belief system of keeping girls out of school and imposing early marriages is a large impediment to self-sufficiency for young women. Even those parents who would otherwise allow their daughters to attend school, often keep them at home to help prepare food for their families.

Through education, we can achieve an enhanced lifestyle and empower young girls and women of all ages.

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Community  Center

Our first step will be to build a community center that will house a lunch room for visitors to share meals and baby formula, a play center for village children, and a chapel for religious services. As in the United States, Sudan's Christians are of many denominations. Out of respect for all faith groups, the chapel will be non-denominational so that all Christians may practice their faith there.
The city of Jikow has graciously donated the land to build our facilities.

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Jikow School

Our second step will be to build a school for village children. Until a separate building is ready, students and orphans will be helped as much as possible with the first facility.

Meet the family »

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Medical Center

Our final goal is a medical center
Although the South Sudanese constitution actually guarantees free medical care for every citizen, the budget for medical care literally comes out to enough for a box of band aids for every citizen. South Sudan has lacked real medical care for so long that the goal seems like a pipe dream. On the other hand it is unthinkable to leave so many without care. Currently the nearest medical care is 4 hours away in Ethiopia.

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