The Cooperative Dorm

Before we went to Juba (we were there for almost a week mid-month) to buy supplies and building materials, we measured and marked and dug the foundation for the dormitory to house our newest group of girls. During the 2012 Lenten season, Christ the King Lutheran Church of Moorhead, Minnesota raised the funds to build this dorm so that we could bring ten more girls into our program. We added the first three girls last July, and eight more joined them this January, for a total of eleven new girls.

Our first two dorms are large “improved” tukuls – adobe thatched roof huts. We have concrete instead of dirt on the floor so it can be mopped, we have screens on the small windows to reduce the bugs (though we have no screen for the door). We have electric lights, which are used only for a few hours in the evening when the generator is running. This allows the girls to read and study and shower and prepare for sleep. We hope to add solar power this year if we can raise the funds to reduce our long term costs since fuel is expensive to buy and to transport. And our girls sleep in beds, not on the floor as they do when they are with their families.

This newest building will be the nicest yet. Built of concrete block and sporting a blue iron sheet roof, the building will have taller walls and will accommodate four double-decker beds. The door will be full-sized–no stooping necessary to enter.

Last year, after the first twelve girls moved into our first two dorm tukuls, they invited me to visit their homes, which they had named “Fargo” and “New York.” The new dormitory will be named for Christ the King Lutheran Church. On my next trip, I will bring signs for all three.

Meanwhile, we have to house the 23 girls who are here, so Manyok, our program director, has moved out of his tukul (which is smaller than our dorm tukuls). Our bigger girls moved two medium-size beds and one single into the tukul, and all are sharing their beds. They named this house too. The Cooperative Dorm.

Foundation (1 of 2) Foundation (2 of 2)

 

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