The Marial Bai Secondary School opened in May 2009. It was the first fully-functional high school in the entire region, where there are no other opportunities for students—especially girls—to continue their education past the elementary level. Marial Bai is a village in the Northern Bahr el Ghazal state of South Sudan (Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marial_Bai).
Much has been accomplished at the Marial Bai Secondary School, but much also remains (as of 2015):
- With an increase from 242 students to 515 students, the nature of our multidisciplinary program and boarding facilities necessitates additional staff and expanding the nutrition program budget.
- The political turmoil in South Sudan directly affects market supply and demand, which raises price of local commodities. The political unrest has made it more expensive to access and transport goods during the school year.
- Financial strains and subsequent austerity measures have stymied many projects, such as completing the school's outdoor basketball court and a crucial deepwater well for running water and irrigation.
- Since the completion of solar installation at the school, additional resources can continue to expose the students to technology and computer literacy.
Source: Nicholas Kristof's New York Times article July 11, 2015 "A 'Lost Boy' Battles AK-47s With Education" at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/opinion/sunday/nicholas-kristof-a-lost-boy-battles-ak-47s-with-education.html