Building Bridges to Peace

Author: O'Neil, Alison

Building Bridges to Peace

While most students focus on completing their own studies, one senior is working to build and maintain his own school. Senior Ngor Majak Anyieth founded Education Bridge in 2015 with the goal of funding the construction of Greenbelt Academy in South Sudan. Greenbelt’s main educational emphases, peacebuilding and leadership, play an important role in South Sudan, a politically unstable nation embroiled in ethnic conflicts. The school aims to teach ethnic cooperation and instill an appreciation of diversity. Anyieth, who goes by Majak, spoke to Scholastic about his work. 

Scholastic: What moved you to found Education Bridge and Greenbelt Academy? 

Anyieth: I believe in the power of young people to improve their communities. I started Education Bridge to help create a generation of transformational leaders — people who will bring lasting peace and development to South Sudan. We will do this by building a network of quality secondary schools. 

S: What is the most rewarding part of your work? 

A: The most rewarding part of my work is listening to the stories of our students, and accompanying them through their journeys. Each of them has a dream we must nurture as a community. 

S: What are your plans for the future of Greenbelt Academy and Education Bridge? 

A: We are very excited for the future. We will add a boarding section to our school in 2018. This will allow us to attract a more diverse student body, which is one of our goals. We also plan to increase the number of our female students by reducing some of the barriers to girls’ education. One such a barrier is lack of investment in female education. To address this, we provide scholarships … Education Bridge plans to build more schools, just like Greenbelt Academy, across South Sudan. Besides providing traditional academic subjects, our school offers [a] conflict resolution curriculum, designed through a collaboration of ND students, professors and Education Bridge staff. Our vision is to develop agents of peace — people who will create a more inclusive narrative for South Sudan. 

The author is a member of Education Bridge Club ND. This article has been updated on 12 November 2017 to reflect that fact.