No teenagers enjoy doing chores. But when you get a group to do some volunteer work together as a team--like these MBB Scholars cleaning up the local church grounds in Gros Morne, Haiti-- suddenly it can seem like fun.
All MBB Scholars commit to doing monthly volunteer work to improve their communities is some way. It's their way of "paying it forward" for having received an MBB Scholarship.
Not surprisingly, in places of extreme poverty like Haiti and South Sudan, volunteering is not yet a widespread practice. People are too busy just trying to stay alive and make ends meet. MBB, however, sees volunteering as an integral component of leadership and so we require it of our Scholars. We like to make it enjoyable, too!
How do you get from one place to another in South Sudan? Carefully. Very carefully! Don't even think of trying it during the rainy months; but even when the heavy rains have subsided, those innocent, shallow-looking streams will swamp a Land Cruiser faster than you can say, "Get me out of here!"
Here the vehicle founders and sinks as water swirls around it, nearly up to the driver's window. Amazingly, the engine did not roll over and die. Once the car was winched onto drier land (after several hours of mulling over the situation in the heat of the day), MBB staff were able to proceed to their destination. Such are the joys of traveling in rural S.Sudan!
Jasmin, wearing glasses, fits right in with the Scholars
During the months of February and March, Mercy Beyond Borders is blessed to have Jasmin Alic volunteer-ing in Gros Morne, Haiti. A former refugee from Bosnia and an experienced teacher, Jasmin is putting his time and talents to use in repairing and updating our computer lab laptops, in mentoring Willine, our Haitian computer instructor, and in taking photos/videos of our Scholars and activities while helping Elisa, the MBB Country Director, as needed.
Sr Marilyn will see him in action when she visits Gros Morne next week.
H & R... Hmmm, is it a British clothing store? A new medical procedure? An indie rock band? A California start-up? None of the above. In South Sudan, H & R means only one thing: Hope and Resurrection Secondary School, a secure place where girls can board and study. H & R, located in Atiaba, is one of MBB's 2 new partnering schools in South Sudan (the other is Mazzolari Memorial HS in Rumbek). H & R was founded by an American couple, is led by a S.Sudanese Headmaster, and is staffed by well-trained Ugandan teachers. In the photo, three of Mercy Beyond Borders' ten female H & R Scholars proudly hold their most recent academic report cards.