Hope for Humanity, Inc.
is committed to the development of future leaders of South Sudan through providing educational opportunities. Through our efforts to educate the youth,
we empower them to become productive,
self sufficient members
of society who can in
turn pass along what
has been given to them.
Starting in 1999, as a result of an on-going civil war in Sudan, many southern Sudanese began arriving in the United States. At that time, Jennifer Ernst and her husband Darryl began helping a small community of Sudanese through their local Richmond, Virginia church. During these early days when many of the “Lost Boys” arrived in Richmond, Jennifer and Darryl often heard cries for education. Then, in 2002, Jennifer participated in a diocese-sponsored mission trip to Kenya and Uganda that was focused on projects relating to the southern Sudanese people. Among the areas visited was Kakuma Refugee Camp in northern Kenya. The 10-square-mile camp was home to approximately 52,000 southern Sudanese refugees. Again, there was a strong cry among the refugees for education.
Jennifer returned from that mission trip with numerous letters from young Sudanese requesting scholarships to Kenyan and Ugandan secondary schools. Since Sudanese are not allowed to work in these countries and all students, even citizens, are required to pay for secondary education, scholarships are necessary to cover the school fees. After sharing her experience with Darryl, a decision was made to work with their church to raise funds to help the Sudanese living in Richmond.
On their own they began soliciting friends and family to become private sponsors for Sudanese who wanted to attend secondary school. Among them was a brother and three relatives of Richmond “Lost Boy,” Maker Marial. While in Kitale, Kenya, Jennifer had met with them and they had expressed their intense desire to become educated men so they could return and help their people. They asked on behalf of themselves and other relatives that Jennifer consider sponsoring them. Jennifer and Darryl were able to sponsor four of them and they found sponsors for eight others.
Within South Sudan itself there was, and still is, a great need for educational resources and facilities. Only 20% of children attend school because there are so few schools available. As a result, the literacy rate of 20% is among the lowest in the world. The typical “school” in South Sudan is held under a large tree year-round. When it rains, school is canceled. There are very few textbooks or other supplies and teachers are unpaid volunteers, often with no training. In the Rumbek region alone, there are 1.5 million youth in need of education and only ONE secondary school that can only accommodate 725 students.
In the summer of 2004, the first “Walk for Sudan” fundraiser was held in Richmond and the proceeds were split between Rumbek and Renk, another region in southern Sudan. The people of Rumbek asked if additional funds could be raised in order to build a badly needed school and this became another focus of the group's fundraising efforts. On a recent mission trip, groundwork was laid for the construction of this new school in Rumbek.
Hope for Humanity, Inc. was founded by Jennifer, Darryl, and Maker in December 2004 as an organization dedicated to growing educational opportunities for the future leaders of Sudan. They are committed to the idea that education is the best way to help the southern Sudanese to grow and become self-supporting.
Hope for Humanity, Inc.
P.O. Box 29117
Richmond, VA 23242
© 2009-2012 Hope for Humanity, Inc., All rights reserved.