GivingTuesdaySupport AFC’s school building efforts in South Sudan when you shop AmazonSmile us this #GivingTuesday. Please share widely. #SouthSudan #EducationFoAall

Breaking New Ground


brick costTHE STORY:
Building a School One brick at a Time! In South Sudan, one brick costs a $1. Our “Breaking New Ground Campaign” aims to raise $15,000 for 15,000 bricks to lay a foundation for our school in Bor, South Sudan. Nathaniel Nyok, a member of a group known around the world as the Lost Boys of Sudan, leads an effort to build a high school in South Sudan, the newest nation in the world. South Sudan, a country devastated by decades of Sudan’s civil war has a 10% literacy rate. Despite a number of children learning under trees and in makeshift shelters, 64% of children are out of school. As the world’s most underdeveloped nation, South Sudan needs education to guarantee its future. You’re invited to purchase a brick as we build a coalition of change makers.

AFC World Peace Book Fair!

AFC World Peace Book Fair

Shop our AFC World Peace Book Fair, and a portion of your purchase will support our school building efforts in South Sudan. We have compiled a list of books that represents our philosophy and mission that education serves as the catalyst for change. We have divided our list into three categories: changemakers, survivor accounts, and literature and social change.  In reading these works on social issues and change, we are made better somehow. The brave and poignant stories teach us the importance of recognizing the humanity in every individual and that we, too, can use the power of our voice to make the world a better place.

Book clubs: We recommend book clubs to choose their monthly selections from our list and to join us in a discussion of these noteworthy texts at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ambassadors-for-Change/409884912429568.

We Are One! Ending Tribalism and Building Peace in South Sudan

When I was a Sudanese refugee in Ethiopia, we automatically grouped ourselves into our tribes, into what was familiar, and, therefore, “safe.” To our frustration, when the UN arrived months after we were living in the camps, they mixed the tribes in the camps in the hopes of preventing a future genocide. We were forced to live with our enemies. This act made us all uncomfortable, but sometimes you first have to be made uncomfortable in order to grow. In learning together, we crossed the boundaries of tribalism and discovered each other’s humanness – a value which should transcend all other bonds.

It is my goal, hope, and dream to build a school in my village in Bor, Jonglei State, to allow the tribes, boys and girls, to learn together. Through learning comes understanding, and through understanding comes change.

Check out this article, “South Sudan Conflict,” written by Jeffrey Toney and Nathaniel Nyok, as it highlights that education is a powerful tool that can foster a national, rather than solely tribal, identity.  http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/03/07/opinion/south-sudan-conflict.html?smid=tw-share&_r=1&referrer

100th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide

Armenian CommemorationThe William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum held a beautiful and worthwhile commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on the evening of 4/23/2015. I feel hopeful in seeing so many faiths gathered to remember and take a stance for life.

I hope that one day soon governments will gain the courage to recognize the Armenian Genocidal for the crime that it is rather than succumb to political pressure and threats, as recognition is the first step in preventing future genocides. Hitler himself knew, as he planned to enact the Final Solution against European Jews, that he would get away with it. As he stated, “After all, who remembers the Armenians.”

History will continue to repeat itself until the world understands that genocide will be recognized and called by its name, that its leaders will not receive impunity, and that sanctions will be enforced.

Until true action occurs, we have the power of memory and the power of education. One of the many compelling statements from this night that truly stood out to me, especially as we instinctively turn away from the horrors that the word “genocide” evokes, “Learning about genocide isn’t depressing. It is about the value of a life.”