Project information

Building girls' education for peaceful communities

This project will equip the school to expand from 120 girl students to a planned capacity of 360 in 2022, and to directly impact the wider community. It will increase capacity to deliver quality healthcare, improve food and water supply, and create space for school gatherings and community outreach.

February 2017 - December 2017

Charity information: Friends Of Ibba Girls School (FIGS), South Sudan

Friends Of Ibba Girls School (FIGS), South Sudan logo
  • Need


    Educational attainment in South Sudan is very poor, especially for women. Girls’ school dropout rates peak at age 10 due to safety fears, domestic duties, early marriage and childbirth, health issues and low educational standards. (Only 1 in 6 schools has permanent classrooms and just 6 in 100 teachers are trained.) By age 15 a girl is likelier to die in childbirth than to complete secondary school, and only 1 in 10 adult women can read – the lowest literacy rate in the world, half that for men.


    Ibba Girls School aims to enable girls to continue their education beyond age 10 to attain School Certificates at age 18, by providing a safe residential school with trained teachers and carefully chosen support staff, working with parents and other local stakeholders. This project will improve the school’s ability to meet the health and nutrition needs of students and enhance their quality of learning, as enrolment triples from 120 to 360. It will also offer education to the local community.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To provide a separate space for ill students to be diagnosed, treated, observed and nursed to health


    » Build a clinic and sick bay with attached basic accommodation, enabling the trained school nurse to live on-site and readily attend to ill students.
    » Move and set up existing equipment, e.g. microscope for malaria diagnosis, first aid kit and furniture from other buildings, in clinic and sick bay.
    » School nurse to begin to utilise clinic and sick bay in her role treating unwell students, and to move into attached basic accommodation.

    Success will look like an at least 10 percent decline in the number of study days lost for the girl students through minor illnesses and infections.

    Aim 2

    To improve the school’s food and water supply systems to meet nutrition needs as more students enrol


    » Build a kitchen and food store large enough to cater for the school’s full planned capacity (400 students and staff).
    » Shift cooking equipment and storage fittings from existing makeshift spaces into kitchen and food store, purchasing more as student numbers increase.
    » Cooks and groundsmen use the new building, including to store food grown and processed on site (e.g. pineapples, maize meal, groundnuts, cassava).
    » Install 2 additional 5,000-litre water tanks at the school’s second water storage tower, besides the 4 5,000-litre water tanks already in place.

    Success will mean that the school can store and supply food for up to full capacity of 400 people, and water for 240 (double the current capacity, with potential to add as needed).

    Aim 3

    To offer students safe spaces that facilitate imaginative, independent learning and social cohesion


    » Build a hall so all 400 students and staff can congregate indoors. They currently gather and eat outside, difficult in the rainy season
    » Furnish the hall with locally-made stackable tables and chairs for multi-purpose use.
    » Utilise the hall for students to eat together, and to hold assemblies, inter-house debates, dance and drama performances, and other group activities.
    » Adapt previous small pole-and-thatch kitchens into independent study and socialising spaces, so that girls from different villages and cohorts can mix

    Success will mean a 10 percent increase in inter-cohort, inter-county student friendships, and stronger sense of ownership of learning as reflected in yearly student interviews.

    Aim 4

    To offer local community adult literacy and health education classes and regional teacher training.


    » Encourage community use of school hall by building in the local style, using pole-and-thatch design and adobe half walls to give natural ventilation
    » Employ a community outreach worker to organise community adult literacy and health education classes in the school hall during vacation periods.
    » The community outreach worker will also coordinate in-service training, using the hall, for teachers from across (the former) Western Equatoria State.

    Success looks like community outreach activities benefiting at least 1,200 adults and 75 teachers from all 10 counties of the state, in the 12 months after completing the hall.

  • Impact


    At least 35 more South Sudanese girls will attain School Certificates each year from 2022, equipped with the mental and social skills for further education, fruitful work and leadership roles, in a country with only 2,000 girls in the final grade of secondary education currently. We will interview alumni to discover what they go on to do. We also expect at least 3 in 4 community outreach attendees (i.e. 956 adults) to attain greater literacy, improved health outcomes, or better teaching skills.


    1. Political instability elsewhere in South Sudan – the school has solid working partnerships with local and state governments, both firmly committed to peace; and extensive 24-hour security
    2. Reputational – the school has implemented an ‘Excellence not Elitism’ policy, and funds and supports local community projects
    3. Financial – long-term viability is addressed by a government plan to increase funding over 25 years, and income generation projects on the school's 73 acres of fertile land


    Donors will receive a monthly email newsletter containing detailed construction updates, student stories, photos and films, and reports on the running of the school and the wider South Sudanese context. They will also be invited to our annual meeting, with a chance to skype call students and staff.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £98,800

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      Amount Heading Description
      £22,200 Healthcare Clinic and sick bay with nurse's accommodation
      £24,800 Food and water supply Kitchen and food store; installing 2 x 5000-litre water tanks
      £28,000 Learning and social cohesion Multi-purpose hall construction; conversion of previous small kitchens into study and social spaces
      £7,000 Learning and social cohesion Multi-purpose hall furniture - locally-made, light and stackable tables and chairs for 400
      £16,800 Community outreach Multi-purpose hall construction; community outreach worker

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    Individual donor £1,200 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The school is in Ibba county, in Western Equatoria, an agriculturally fertile state. In an oil-dependent country where leaders from the Dinka and Nuer tribes signed a shaky peace in June 2014, the state’s 1.6m mostly Azande leaders and people have largely avoided conflict, instead pursuing education and economic development. Students are chosen from every county in the state, and national, state and county government leaders, the paramount chief, local clergy and parents support the school.


    In the next 6 years, 360 girl students and at least another 30 staff will benefit, as the school heads towards full planned capacity. More immediately, at least 1,200 adults in the local community will receive basic health education and literacy classes, and 75 teachers from schools across Western Equatoria will upgrade their skills. If the adults are in households of 5 and each teacher has a class of 60, this project can indirectly benefit 10,500 people in the 12 months after the building work.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    FIGS has an in-depth understanding of South Sudan from regular visits and close links with many local stakeholders. Our UK Trustees are experts in establishing systems for school governance, maintaining teaching quality, financial control, and monitoring and evaluation. Our building work applies green, sustainable principles, and we are forming a teachers’ learning network. These factors position us to develop an all-round excellent girls’ school, and to share knowledge and good practice widely.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Former Commissioner For Ibba County And Former State Minister Of Health, Bridget Nagomoro

    Chair of the Board of Governors, she had the founding vision and donated land for the school, and ensures funding is efficiently spent to purpose.

    Headteacher Richard Aluma

    A well-qualified and experienced South Sudanese headteacher, he manages a committed staff team including the cooks and nurse, and sets school culture.

    Architect Malcolm Worby

    A well-qualified architect designing the school using green principles, and local materials where possible. Conducts site visits for quality control.

    Hon. Treasurer Gary Bandy

    A UK chartered accountant, he oversees sound financial management systems, with clear audit trails and authorisation lines, in UK and South Sudan.

Give the girls of South Sudan the power to learn


builds a clinic, sick bay and attached nurse accommodation, so that ill students can recover rapidly

"I am happier in this school than before; there is no beating. I have books, pens, breakfast, electricity, water. I've learnt about health education."

Helon, one of our first intake of 40 girls