ImpactAVillage Receives “World Wide Learning Heart of Trinity Award” from Trinity School

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ImpactAVillage is proud to receive the World Wide Learning Heart of Trinity Award from Trinity School in Menlo Park, CA. Deng Jongkuch, board member of ImpactAVillage and one of the Lost Boys of Sudan spoke at Trinity School in March 2014. Trinity School also donated $100 to ImpactAVillage by collecting pennies from students at their annual Penny Panic Campaign. Below is the beautiful letter received from the 5th grade class of Trinity School.

“We are fifth graders from Trinity School in Menlo Park, CA, where you visited to talk about your experiences and mission. You have been chosen to receive the World Wide Learning Heart of Trinity Award, which donates one hundred dollars to your cause. You will also receive a medallion. We have earned the money for the award through a special event named Penny Panic, where each class tries to raise the most money, bringing pennies and other coins. This year, as a school, we raised almost four thousand dollars. We divide this money evenly between classes so they may use it for service learning projects.

As a fifth grade class, we saved money for organizations. Our class selects five different organizations that meet the standards in five different categories. Impact A Village deserves this award because it helps make sure children all around the world have a good education and stay healthy. Our school values good education and being helpful to others, and your organization does both. By visiting schools, you help spread awareness and raise money. We enjoyed your visit to our school and are pleased to send you a check of one hundred dollars, a medallion, and a certificate of thanks.

Thank you for your time and the work you do,”

Sarah, Molly, Anna, and Grace from fifth grade at Trinity School

Deng Jongkuch Returns from Visit to South Sudan

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Deng Ajak Jongkuch, board member of ImpactAVillage returned safely home after a 10 day trip to South Sudan. Bor Town and surrounding villages have been damaged during the recent conflicts and most villagers still have not returned to their homes. States Deng,  ”People of Bor are very resilient and they will rise again. I have seen improvement when I was there. Businesses and schools are opening in town.”

The situation in South Sudan is volatile and tribal fighting is still occurring. Here is the report about the most recent incident http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/04/21/us-southsudan-un-idUSBREA3K0UL20140421

Books and supplies inside the Malek School have been damaged and looted.

Books and supplies inside the Malek School have been damaged and looted.

The Malek Primary School is still standing but children have not returned to school since the Dec 2013 conflicts began

The Malek Primary School is still standing but children have not returned to school since the Dec 2013 conflicts began

Deng Jongkuch Travels to South Sudan

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Deng Jongkuch, board member of ImpactAVillage and one of the Lost Boys of Sudan arrived safely in South Sudan. It is his first time back since the Dec 2013 conflict. He reports damage to Bor Town and surrounding villages. Villagers are slowly returning home. Today he is visiting the Malek Primary School which ImpactAVillage helped fund and build. Although children have not attended the school since the conflict, we hope there is no damage to the school and that they will return as soon as it is safe to do so. Read more about the Malek Primary School project at http://www.impactavillage.org/primary-school-malek-south-sudan.html

Malek Primary School in Malek, South Sudan. Photo taken before the Dec 2013 conflict.

Malek Primary School in Malek, South Sudan. Photo taken before the Dec 2013 conflict.

Deng Jongkuch Speaks to Over 3000 Students

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Deng Ajak Jongkuch, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and Lisa Frankel Wade, President of ImpactAVillage spoke at 10 schools and to over 3000 children in Northern California the week of March 17th, 2014. Deng was also interviewed on five TV shows. Deng’s story was a remarkable story of survival under enormous hardship during the Sudan Civil War. It was also a story of giving back as Deng described forming the non-profit ImpactAVillage and  working with the villagers of Malek, South Sudan to build a primary school.

TV Interviews
Good Day Sacramento – March 17, 2014
Fox40 News – Sacramento – March 18, 2014
KCRA Morning Show – Sacramento – March 18, 2014
Black Renaissance KBCW – San Francisco – March 21, 2014
Channel 10 News – Sacramento – March 22, 2014

School Presentations
California State University at Sacramento, CA
Christian Brothers High School, Sacramento, CA
St. Michaels Episcopal Day School, Carmichael, CA
Castro Valley High School, Castro Valley, CA
St Pius School, Redwood City, CA
Trinity School, Menlo Park, CA
International School of the Peninsula, Palo Alto, CA
Piedmont High School, Piedmont, CA

Deng Speaks About his Journey as One of the Lost Boys of Sudan

Deng Speaks About his Journey as One of the Lost Boys of Sudan

Deng Ajak Jongkuch to Speak at Schools in Northern California

Deng Ajak Jongkuch, one of the Lost Boys of Sudan is speaking at schools in the Sacramento and San Francisco Bay area the week of March 17th, 2014. Deng shares his incredible story at the following schools:

Tue March 18th 2014, Christian Brothers High School, Sacramento, CA
Tue March 18th 2014, St. Michaels Episcopal Day School, Carmichael, CA
Wed March 19th 2014, Castro Valley High School, Castro Valley, CA
Thu March 20th 2014, St Pius School, Redwood City, CA
Fri March 21st 2014, Trinity School, Menlo Park, CA

http://www.impactavillage.org/events.html

 

 

Deng Jongkuch Reports that Malek Primary School is Undamaged

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Deng Ajak Jongkuch received a report that the primary school that ImpactAVillage funded in Malek, South Sudan was undamaged from the Dec 2013 conflict in South Sudan. Since the January 2014 ceasefire agreement, villagers in Malek are slowly returning to their homes. It is hoped that children will be able to attend school again. Before the conflict, over 600 students attended the Malek Primary School. For more information about the Malek Primary School, see http://www.impactavillage.org/primary-school-malek-south-sudan.html

Update about Current Crisis in South Sudan

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I am sure many of you are aware of the escalating crisis in the world’s newest country of South Sudan. The current conflict which started December 15, 2013 in the Bor region has left hundreds of thousands displaced and thousands killed. Villagers have fled their homes to seek safety in the bush or refugee camps. The Malek Primary School (near Bor) which ImpactAVillage helped build and support is now empty of children. While it is deeply distressing to learn that the school is empty, we are proud that hundreds of children learned to read since the school was opened in 2009. Buildings may be destroyed, but knowledge cannot be taken away.

Deng Ajak Jongkuch, an ImpactAVillage board member is devastated by this crisis. Deng survived nearly 15 years of hardship as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and has worked hard to improve education and healthcare in South Sudan. While he is now safe in Michigan with his wife Yar and four young children, the rest of his family is in South Sudan in the midst of the crisis. Please read Deng’s heartbreaking letter at http://www.ImpactAVillage.org.

All of us at ImpactAVillage pray for the safety of Deng’s family and all people in South Sudan. We hope for a quick and peaceful end to the crisis.

Thank you for your support of ImpactAVillage. We support healthcare and education projects around the world. We do our best to assure that your donations go towards the projects for which they are intended. We will not distribute funding unless we can safely do so.

In peace,
Lisa

Lisa Wade, President
ImpactAVillage, Inc
http://www.ImpactAVillage.org
501(c)3 non-profit organization

**Useful Links for More Information**

Current Crisis in South Sudan:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/06/world/africa/sudans-lost-boys-are-drawn-into-war-at-home.html?_r=0

To Donate to Projects that ImpactAVillage Supports:

http://www.impactavillage.org/donate.html

Book about Deng Jongkuch’s Journey as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/145656885X/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=145656885X&linkCode=as2&tag=theyogoftra-20

Poignant Letter from Deng Jongkuch about Crisis in South Sudan

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Dear Friends, 

I am honored to call you friends. Thank you so much for being more than a friend to me, my family, and my country of South Sudan. You helped me in so many ways, and I have no single word to express my appreciation to you. As violence is unfolding in South Sudan, I want to share with you what I am going through. 

When the current crisis in South Sudan started on December 15th, 2013, my heart stumbled and numbed. I knew this would be the beginning of a long suffering of innocent children, women, and elderly. Reports state that more than 1200 people have been killed in my home area of Bor. Many people including 27 children drowned in the Nile as they tried to cross to safety. More than 75,000 people from Bor ended up in miserable camps on the other side of the Nile. The worst still are those individuals trapped in the swamps without access to clean water, food, medicine, and shelter. The little development that happened during the peace time has been destroyed by the militia forces.  

My immediate family members are safe. My mother is on the other side of the Nile with my sister (Atong) and her three children. My other sister (Ayuen) and her four children are on their way to Kakuma Refugee camp in Northern Kenya. My father and two brothers (Majok and Jongkuch) are in the town of Nakuru in Kenya. Another brother (Chol) is in the cattle camp with his wife and two children.

My wife Yar’s parents are trapped in the swamp between the Nile tributes. Her father and her grandmother are very old. Luckily enough, we can talk to them by phone. Her two brothers swam and made it to Juba two days ago. They were looking for food to bring to the family. We sent them money for food and medicine. They were about to leave today, but unfortunately they heard the route had been occupied by the militia forces the night before. They are waiting for the army to clear the militia forces out of that route. 

I am emotionally devastated and powerless about the consequences of this senseless conflict. To me, this is a story repeating itself again. The only difference is that I am not physically there crossing the crocodile infested Nile like my two year old nephew. You are aware that I had been through this route before. I was separated from my parents at the age of 6 years and later reunited with my family after 18 years of painful separation. I never thought any child would experience what I went through. It is just heart breaking. 

For the last 8 years, I invested my time to create awareness about health and education needs in South Sudan. In the course of creating awareness here in the USA, many hearts have been touched in so many ways. With the non-profit ImpactAVillage, hundreds of Americans joined hands with the people of Malek and built Malek Primary school. Before this recent crisis, Malek Primary School had about 600 children from 1st grade to eighth grade. It warmed my heart seeing those children (probably in the swamps now) attending their classes and learning normally under the roof of a building. I also helped build a clinic in Malek funded by a woman in Fremont California. Although I do not know the status of the Malek Primary School and the clinic at this time, my heart is heavy with fear that these buildings may be gone. That will be my lowest point in this crisis. As the crisis continues, my future goal of returning to South Sudan permanently looks uncertain. 

What make me excited as a South Sudanese man is that we have many friends who are thinking about our country. Friends like you are sources of our inspiration to keep hoping for the best for South Sudan. 

Thank you,

Deng Jongkuch

Update from Deng Jongkuch in South Sudan

Deng Jongkuch, who survived many hardships as one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, is doing well in his position as administrator at Christian Memorial Hospital in Bor County, South Sudan. He is working very hard to improve conditions in the hospital so that villagers have access to good health care. He also reports that the primary school in Malek, South Sudan which ImpactAVillage helped fund, is well attended and is currently being re-plastered by the villagers. Deng, who was granted U.S. citizenship a few years ago, is applying for visas for his wife and three children so they can visit the United States. Deng just informed me that he will be visiting the SF bay area (and possibly Sacramento) the week of Oct 23, 2012. He is looking forward to seeing his U.S. friends again as this is his first trip back since he started his job in South Sudan in April 2011. Says Deng, “Please say hello to all my friends, and tell them I hope to see them soon”.