St. Timothy’s School

St. Timothy’s School was started in 2006 by Bishop Samuel Peni in order to begin to address the lack of education opportunities in South Sudan caused by 20 years of civil war.   South Sudan has the lowest literacy rate in the world.  Indeed, it was 2% at the time.

The school began as an “under-tree school” with 40 pupils and has now grown to over 1,000.

In 2011 The Foundation funded the building of two classrooms.  Thanks to a generous grant, a second classroom block of a further two classrooms was added in 2012.

By 2016 the school had grown to 370 in the Pre-primary School and 280 children in the Primary School (P1-P4 class years: 8-12 year olds).  With only four classrooms and two latrines additional buildings were needed to accommodate the increased demand for education at the school.  An appeal was made to raise funds for a new block of three classrooms and the construction of two blocks to house three latrines each.  Water tanks and guttering would be included to gather rainwater.

Unfortunately, funding was not forthcoming at this time due to increased violence in the area potentially destroying any new build that was taking place.  As a priority, The St Timothy Foundation funded the building of additional latrines and solar powered lighting in the existing buildings.

In 2019, after relative peace had been established, it was with huge thanks to a legacy from Derek and Claudia Calam the additional classroom block was completed and dedicated in the memory of Claudia.

There were, in 2022, over 1,000 pupils and seven year-groups in the Primary School, providing education from the age of six in Pre-Primary to the age of 15 in year seven of the Primary School. 

It is the most popular school in Nzara and places are sought after.  The first children graduated in 2021 from the school and needed further education to prepare them for possible university education.  A school started “under the trees in September 2021 for this purpose.  Funding of the wood for local craftsmen to create tables and integrated benches has been provided by The Foundation for about 40 pupils.

The St Timothy Foundation continues to support the Pre-Primary and Primary School with funding for 18 teachers, an Administrator and cleaning and catering staff.  Two trainee teachers have been supported also.  One of the student teachers returned to Kampala to receive his degree and graduation paperwork; the costs were funded by The St Timothy Foundation. Similarly, travel costs were covered for the Ugandan teachers leading the academic program at the school to return home once per year.

With regard to the children in Nzara the qualifications attained are based on the established Ugandan curriculum  and examinations.   This means the standards that the children achieve are measured against a high quality and recognised standard.

Due to the support of individuals and PCCs across the Deanery we have managed in 2023 to continue to support The St Timothy Pre-Primary and Primary School in Nzara and the ECS Yabongo Diawo Nursery and Primary School, Nzara with £9,000 donated twice per year (January and July) for teacher’ salaries at the schools.

The St Timothy School has a waiting list. At the beginning of 2024 there are 1,045 pupils in attendance and 33 staff.  Classes need to be split as some have 100 pupils within them, but there are no facilities to do this.  There is also a challenge in providing water to the school.  4 women take water to the school each day from the local borehole about 1 kilometre away.  1,600 litres are taken to the school – 1,000 litres for drinking and 600 for cooking.  The children are in school from 7am to 3pm.  More water is needed.  At least 50% more is needed.  And this excludes flushing toilets and washing hands….. (the people eat with their hands but are unable to wash them before eating).

In ECS Yabongo Diawo Nursery and Primary School Nzara, at the beginning of 2024, there are 444 pupils.  Blackboards are used by the teachers to write on but other resources are lacking.

There is a great need to continue our giving but also to increase it to solve the challenges ahead.  In summary, taken from the Administrator’s report, the schools in Nzara face challenges:

For St Timothy Pre-Primary and Primary School in 2024:

  • A borehole to supply water within the school grounds and connected to the places of need.
  • Classrooms – to enable 50 pupils per class 11 more classrooms are needed.
  • Desks/Benches There is a need for more desks/benches for the pupils while in class
  • School requirements –  Hygiene Kits for girls, exercise books, pens, bags and uniforms.
  • Teachers – funding for one person to attend a 3 year teacher training degree course.
  • St. Timothy Secondary School Nzara is going on very well, but there are no classrooms.

The challenges for ECS Yabongo Diawo Nursery and Primary School Nzara in 2024:

  • Classrooms as there are none.
  • Trained teachers are required – there are none at present.
  • Desks, seats and school resources for practical work are needed.

We hope and pray that we will be able to continue and increase our giving to support the education of the children of Nzara so that they may be able to develop the skills needed to positively impact the life of the nation.

Please enjoy our new School Slideshow page and meet some of the pupils!

You might also enjoy this YouTube Video Clip taken at the 2022 Graduation Ceremony at the end of the academic year.  (Opens in a new tab.)