I was working in an established school during the war founded by Opendoors / Africa Service International in collaboration with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in South Sudan. It is called Emmanuel Christian College (ECC). I was both a professor and the Deputy Principal for Academic Affairs.
As a matter of ethics, senior staff of the school were asked to bring their families to stay with them in school although it wasn’t safe due to the LRA activities in the area from 2006 – 2008. However, we took a step of faith to bring our families and stayed with them in Goli. So my kids lived among the Mundu community and many other families from the Equatoria region. As a learning community, ECC brought people from various parts of the country to Goli for studies. Seeing South Sudanese stay together as brothers and sisters was for me – a former SPLA freedom fighter – like a dream come true. The college community was a true manifestation of a truly free and united people.
Over the years, the college has grown bigger offering a variety of disciplines including Business Administration, Education, and Leadership and Management. I recommend anyone to apply who wants quality education. ECC has competent professors and lecturers who come from different tribes, nations and races across the world. Lecturers are scheduled on a two-week-time interval, coming either from Europe, America, within the region in Africa or even from Asia or the Middle East, depending on their area of expertise. The College was and is still fully equipped, with modern facilities.
ECC has produced a great number of leaders in South Sudan, including some current Governors, Ministers and businessmen and women in all the states.
Although the college was temporarily affected by the 2016 conflict causing students to relocate to Yei to continue with lesson, the ECC leadership has maintained the main campus. A team from the Ministry of Education will be visiting the main campus as part of the process to complete the college’s registration as a private learning institution in South Sudan.
My children have grown up and some have become university students and I am very grateful to God for the professional teachers in ECC and the excellent learning environment; perhaps the best place in the whole of South Sudan to study.
I recommend those who are seeking quality education to join Emmanuel Christian College. This college has what it takes to produce responsible citizens for our nation.
Dr Francis Ayul Yuar
Deputy General Manager for Business Development,
Nile Petroleum Corporations, Juba, South Sudan.
Co-Founder and Vice Moderator,
Faith Evangelical Baptist Church, Juba, South Sudan.
Teaching Practice in War Times
A student in the ECC Education Department shared these thoughts: “During the training we were expected to go for teaching practice, but the insecure situation in the town really scared me. I didn’t want to go, but we were encouraged by our lecturers to focus on Jesus and listen to what He tells us to do. As a class, we were convicted that Jesus was calling us to ‘walk on the water towards Him’, so we went and really had a great time in our teaching practice. We saw the needs of the children in the primary schools and that they really lacked trained teachers. After we completed our one-month-teaching practice, the children cried and asked us to stay. This really opened my eyes to the importance and impact of teaching.”
Thank you for standing with us!
I would like to say ‘thank you very much’ for your support and prayers towards the existence of Emmanuel Christian College. As I look back at the events at Emmanuel Christian College in the past three years till now, I am convinced that God is with us. It has been a tough journey since 2016, but you stood firm with us in everything all aspect and for that reason, I am indebted to you and want to say Thank You!
Three years ago when the war broke out in Yei, South Sudan, many schools and tertiary institutions closed their operations due to insecurity, but ECC staff defied all odds and stood up together to make sure we kept the little light of Emmanuel Christian College shining a little longer. I can vividly recall the euphoria the students had when they arrived in Yei to finish their studies in January 2017. It was unbelievable to many based on the experiences they had in 2016. Early that year, we unanimously came up with a theme, “Moving Forward Together”. That theme proved magical because we stood together in one accord in the midst of the insecurity, economic crisis and separation from our families till we finished that academic year successfully and I witnessed the graduation of many students.
In 2018, ECC staffs took up a new challenge to make sure our first ever Bachelor class and diploma students in other departments graduated. We came up with a new theme for that year, “Together for the Bigger Picture”. This theme proved to be a true test of faith and commitment. We started the year well but in the middle of that year, our campus was attacked; we lost some beloved staff members and school children, and also experienced the departure of OD financial support as ECC’s main partner. The management presented the challenges and all the staffs were involved in decision making. In harmony we came up with a resolution to continue serving regardless of the current challenges. Major austerity measures were put in place including a rigorous pay cut of employees’ salaries to enable us to finish the year successfully. Although a few of our comrades voluntarily stepped down due to the challenges at hand, we also had to cut our staff number without necessarily affecting our programs. Miraculously, we finished the year successfully and I witnessed another colorful graduation ceremony of students.
In early 2019, we stood up again to undertake another challenge. This time around, we were all aware of the fundamental challenges. We unanimously chose a theme, “Seek God and Press on Together”. This theme challenged everyone to seek God for wisdom, guidance and direction. Our fate to continue lies in our individual hearts and 2019 has truly been a year of refinement for us all. The financial constraints at hand are visible to everyone. Our persistence to continue serving at ECC is not because we have nowhere to go but it’s because of the unquenchable desire of the students to continue learning and the hope we all have in the faithful God who has never let us down.
All in all, the collection of these success stories would have not come to pass if it were not because of support by various partners. The impact of Emmanuel Christian College and Emmanuel Christian Academy is felt far beyond the States of South Sudan and Sudan and that is why we are committed to keeping the light of this institution shining far and wide despite all the obstacles.
Together we are making history!”
Alex Lubang, ECC staff
School Garden in the Refugee Camp
Sadic is from Nuba Mountains and has completed his Diploma in Education at Emmanuel Christian College. After his studies, he went to join many of his family and friends who were now living in a refugee camp in Ajuong Thok. Sadic was hired as an Agriculture teacher in a secondary school within the camp. Here are some of his thoughts: “The living situation in this camp is difficult. I want to give hope to my students. During the training at ECC I learned that
students learn best through practical activities, so as an agriculture teacher I started a school farm project with my students. The ground was dry so we decided to use some special techniques and it worked! This inspired the students and many other people in the camp. At ECC, I really learned how to serve God; I am active in the church and am surrendered to God to use me to impact the lives of my students.”
Great Values and Academic Excellence
“When I decided to study, I purposely chose Emmanuel Christian College (ECC) because of the Christian values it characterizes. I was looking forward to being equipped holistically in order to serve my community. After successful completion of my three years of study in the faculty of Theology, I gladly accepted the call to serve at ECC as an assistant tutor. I am very grateful to God for the excellent knowledge that He has allowed me to gain from this
institution and it is my a deep desire to pass this knowledge on to the young people who come to us for their studies.”
By Joseph Laila Gabriel