Mothering Across Continents
  • The first gathering of women to understand their literacy needs was the spark that inspired the Women at the Center Project.

    Women at the Center Project
  • In 2019, 10 existing classrooms were widened and 10 new classrooms added.

    Women at the Center Project
  • The Old Fangak Community School serves more than 200 adults and nearly 1,000 K-8 students, nearly 30 percent of whom are girls.

    Women at the Center Project
  • With donations from Days for Girls and UNICEF, all girls at Old Fangak Community School have received menstrual hygiene education and kits.

    Women at the Center Project
  • Few schools in South Sudan offer Early Childhood Education (ECE/ECD).
    Old Fangak's kindergarten has 150 students.

    Women at the Center Project
  • Over three years, the majority of teachers completed 10 months of classroom training facilitated by nonprofit partner Solidarity with
    South Sudan.

    Women at the Center Project
  • Hygiene is essential. Students and teachers are grateful for these hand-washing stations provided by in-country nonprofit partner SPEDP.

    Women at the Center Project
  • Leveraging of the Old Fangak Community School teaching structure makes it possible to provide free numeracy and literacy training for women business owners.

    Women at the Center Project

Women at the Center


For nearly 50 years, southern Sudan and northern Sudan—once both part of Sudan—were at civil war. A Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005, and South Sudan became the newest country in the world in 2011. Years of devastating war and continued civil conflict after have left a mark. The average person receives fewer than 5 years of education for boys, even less for girls. There is no reliable data regarding secondary school education access and completion. Less than half of all primary school teachers in the country are trained. And the overall situation in Old Fangak is even more daunting because government and large-scale non-government (nonprofit) organizations often do not consistently reach rural locations. Innovative interventions funded by individual donors, schools, churches and civic organizations fill the significant gap in humanitarian development.


Women at the Center
Dr. Ann Evans and women
with new grinders.

Nearly 10 years ago, Dr. Gloria Ann ("Ann") Evans began traveling to South Sudan. Her initial goal was to support MacArthur Foundation recipient Dr. Jill Seaman and her leadership of a healthcare clinic in the Old Fangak community. As Ann became more familiar with the community, it was evident that women and children face tremendous challenges from gaps in education. Ann began by gathering women to clear out an abandoned building that would later become a Women's Center, adding a permanent roof, and donating hand grinders to ease daily meal preparation. Since then, the community has grown from a small village to a place of safety for thousands of people that now call Old Fangak home. As the "Women at the Center" project grew and dream evolved, Mothering Across Continents assumed management of the project, and Ann continues to serve as an advocate inspiring supporters. Each visit she makes to the village is always cause for celebration.


In 2016, Mothering Across Continents was honored to be nominated by government officials in South Sudan for an inaugural UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women's Literacy, one sign of the impact of the project work in Old Fangak. "Women at the Center" now includes the largest and most recognized primary school in the area, an adult learning program, and various women's development efforts. Key indicators of progress in Old Fangak are:

Women at the Center
One of the blocks of classrooms
at Old Fangak School.
Women at the Center
Garden plots with cash crops
help fund special projects.
  • 20-classroom school complex complete
  • 950 students in primary school, and daily attendance tracked for 30 teachers, staff, and students
  • Nearly 200 adults attending Level II and Level III sections of Adult Learning
  • Near 100% pass rates of primary school and adult students from 6th grade into nearby 7th and 8th grade school
  • Basic Literacy and Numeracy class offered free to Women's Association members
  • Menstrual hygiene management program in place for more than 300 female students
  • One-acre demonstration garden producing cash crops including okra and onions
  • Two large-scale agriculture plots purchased for future development (funding needed for fencing, seeds, pipe, etc.)

Existing Gaps/Needs:

  • Numbers and quality of latrines
  • Additional training classes for women entrepreneurs
  • School uniforms
  • Advanced training for teachers in interactive classroom techniques and tools
  • Possible addition of 7th and 8th grade classes between 2020 and 2022

Partners and Collaborators

Women at the Center
Our friend and partner, Father Gregor
Schmidt, meets with Rob Johnson, Principal
at Boomerang Design, to discuss plans for a
community bridge over the local river.

Throughout nine years of Women at the Center's activities in South Sudan, we have learned the importance, value and efficiency of partnering and collaborating. Whether the challenge is teacher training, menstrual hygiene management support for girls, agriculture pilots, or design of a community bridge, we seek out and benefit from the shared expertise of many individuals and organizations. These include but are not limited to: Action Against Hunger, Comboni Missionaries, Days for Girls, Solidarity with South Sudan, professors and students in the UNC Charlotte College of Arts and Architecture, and Rise Against Hunger.