UNMISS donates 13 benches to Juba school

19 Dec 2011

UNMISS donates 13 benches to Juba school

16 December 2011 – Seeking to boost student morale and improve performance, UNMISS Public Information Office donated 13 desks today to Atlabara West Basic School in the South Sudanese capital Juba.

"This is our small way of contributing to the huge effort that is now required in building a better future for this country," UNMISS Spokesperson Aleem Siddique said.

Adding that children were vital part of the population, Mr. Siddique said it was imperative for the United Nations to support youth in the new nation.

"We hope that this small gift of the desks we have provided to the school here will help make the lives of the children a little bit better and motivate them to learn," he said.

Speaking during the handover, school headmaster Benaih Soma Logworong thanked UNMISS and its engineers, who built the desks, requesting continued support for the school. "I hope next year more will be coming," Mr. Logworong said.

He added that the school still had a shortage of textbooks, inadequate teachers, insufficient clean water, limited classrooms and a broken fence.

"You only have to go to one or two schools in South Sudan to see some of the huge challenges that the children face," Mr. Siddique said. "Many children have to bring their chairs to school."

UNMISS Project Engineer Layth Denno said he was happy to carry out the desk project and his local staff members more than willing to do the job. "That represents the feeling of the local staff -- how they want to serve their communities using UNMISS tools and facilities."

"Although the number of desks is very small, we are looking forward to having bigger projects," said Mr. Denno, adding that his section was ready to assist the children of South Sudan in meeting their future.

Margaret John, a 12-year-old primary three pupil expressed her delight in the new desks.

"Before we got the benches, we were sitting on the floor," she said. "So writing was difficult. But today, with the desks, I can write well and happily."