By Sister Carolyn Buhs SNDdeN
On 19 November 2015, Solidarity Teaching Training College-Yambio in South Sudan, celebrated the Graduation of 50 students. Having completed a two-year Pre-Service course, or another option in a four-year program with two-months of an In-Service course (each year), each student received a certificate signed by the National Minister of Education. They will go out to teach in Primary Schools around the country.
This photo of our 2014 Graduation, shows some of our students on the school verandah with some of our teaching staff in the fore-ground. Our Solidarity Community consists of men and women religious of different Congregations and countries. We train primary school teachers who will improve the 25% literacy rate of the country. We pray that our example of living and working together with such diversity will help our students to work and live together in peace in their countries. There is such a diversity with 64 ethnic groups who seek now to move from a culture of revenge to a culture of peace.
In Yambio, this past year our Solidarity Community consisted of nine members: eight religious and an Australian laywoman. Our two West African Brothers teach Religion and Math. Our Sisters come from Ecuador, Ireland, New Zealand, Montana, and California and are teaching Professional Studies, English, Science, and Social Studies. Our Congregations include: Marist Brothers, Brothers of the Immaculate Conception, Mercy Sisters, Comboni, Sisters of Charity, Faithful Companions of Jesus, RNDM, and SND.
Daily we pray together the Morning Office and celebrate Eucharist with the Seminarians in our neighboring Minor Seminary. We take turns cooking, marketing, doing house charges, and facilitating a monthly community meeting. Alone, none of our Congregations could serve here in South Sudan, but together we form a new paradigm of religious life and are able to witness the Goodness of our Good God.