Under the Trees

by Michael Ford last modified 16 Jul, 2019 01:46 PM

Did you know that the outgoing Minister of Foreign Affairs in South Sudan is not only a former Olympic athlete, but a former curate in Swanage, and that it was this curacy that led to the establishing of the special 'Under the Trees' project in South Sudan?

The congregation at St George’s, Langton Matravers, who had invited Joseph Ayok to preach, heard that it was during Joseph's time as a curate in Purbeck that the seed of an idea to establish a school for girls in South Sudan, ‘Under the Trees’, was formed.

They also heard that the seed has now grown to fruition, with the Ayok Anei Girls' School moving out from under the trees to purpose built buildings in the village of Malek Alel, in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State, South Sudan.

St George's, which is on the Isle of Purbeck uses its monthly pop-up ‘Coffee Pot’ cafe to contribute regular financial support to the Under the Trees schools project and had invited Joseph back to tell them more.

Joseph preached on the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) and told those gathered that his vision for the project was driven by his family’s experience of the profound inequality of opportunity for young women in South Sudan.

He told them that education is key to addressing the issue and added that he is now working to establish a second school.

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