Dear Family, Friends, Supporters,
We hope you are having a restful Holiday Season. We are, and it’s a welcome respite after a couple of months of big developments with the primary school and women’s empowerment project serving more than 1,500 women and children in Old Fangak, South Sudan. Dr. Ann Evans visited in the Fall. Mothering Across Continents Exec. Director Patricia Shafer followed in December and returned two days before Christmas. At a time of year when thoughts turn to gifts and donations, we want to share how our project philosophy focuses on the PURELY practical!
Please read on, all the way through, including a special request about desks!
All Wrapped Up (in a Fence)
Trained teachers are the most essential element of good learning environments. We employ 30 staff at Old Fangak Community School serving 1,200 primary school students and nearly 300 adult learners. But something else important has been missing – a fence around the school. Culturally, a permanent fence speaks volumes about school quality. On Dec. 12, the contractor placed poles. On Dec. 21, chain link was added. Next week, the gates are scheduled to go in. The community is thrilled, but local cattle may be dismayed. They will no longer be able to take short-cuts across school grounds. 
Hygiene for 400 Girls, Women
In developed economies like the US, menstrual hygiene products are widely available. That’s not the case in South Sudan. Teachers report that 438 girls are enrolled at Old Fangak Community School, and 300 of them menstruate (some girls in Grades 1 and 2 are 12 to 14 years old). The Number One reason for absences is lack of feminine hygiene products. Nonprofit Days for Girls chapters in the US and Canada recently gifted us with kits of reusable pads, underwear and soap for all of the girls, women Adult Learners, female teachers, and local women’s league. Planning is underway to introduce the kits along with hygiene and reproductive training in the school year starting February 2019.
What’s Chalk Got to Do With It?
It's often said that education is the greatest gift. So, it may surprise you that we are positively Grinch-like when it comes to chalk, pens and notebooks. In a village setting, if you don’t have control over inventory, a school can easily lose thousands of dollars each year (and precious donor dollars go to waste). This past year, we worked with teachers to put strict and regular checks in place. When the end of year came, there had been no "leakage"! We have surplus materials that should see the school through much of 2019! To celebrate, every teacher received a modest thank you bonus.
Help! Need Donations for Desks
There's still one item on the wish list. Last year, we spread the word that 45 new three-seater desks for three new classrooms were needed. Now, on top of fence-building, the contractor is widening 12 current classrooms and building six more so students won’t literally be on top of each other! The classrooms desperately need more desks. We promise to honor donors with name plates on each one. Every desk costs $150. (One donor last year funded a whole classroom – $2,250 for 15 desks).
Patricia Shafer
Chief Catalyst & Executive Director Mothering Across Continents

Dr. Ann Evans
Please Join Us
To donate by check, please mail to:
Mothering Across Continents /
Women at the Center
310 Arlington Avenue, Suite 303
Charlotte, NC 28203
Checks are payable to:
Mothering Across Continents
Write “ Old Fangak ” on the memo line.
Women at the Center is a project of
501c3 nonprofit Mothering Across Continents SM