By Diing Magot
Mama Hellen Primary School in Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria will be getting a new library. Thanks to a Canadian geologist looking to explore gold and other minerals in South Sudan.
Rob Reukl is the president and CEO of Juba Gold Corp, a private Canadian company that will be listed on one of the Canadian stock exchanges. The company is currently in discussions with government officials to acquire one, or more, Exploration licenses to explore gold and other metals in South Sudan.
In 2013 Mama Hellen Nursery and Primary School was founded in Abara by HellenLotara, who was theUndersecretary of Labour for South Sudan at that time. The school employs 8 full time teachers and serves over 300 students.
For many years HellenLotara has dedicated her personal financial resources to improve the school facilities, recruit new teachers and provide ongoing teacher training and provide scholarships to students. HellenLotara met Rob Reukl in 2012 and has been encouraging him to come to South Sudan and explore the country ever since.
With the 2018 Revitalized Peace Agreement, the opportunity to explore the mineral wealth of South Sudan now seems to be a reality.
The new library, when completed, will hold more than 10,000 books, reference materials, and several desktop computers to help train the students in computer skills. Adverse collection of reading materials will otherwise grow their knowledge and understanding of the larger global community.
And also how they can contribute to the growth of South Sudan and promote the participation of South Sudan in this larger universe.
When asked why he wanted to begin construction of the library now before his company is awarded any Exploration Licenses in the country, Mr. Reukl said simply: “The library is needed now to help the students develop their reading skills and broaden their understanding of the world outside their district.”
Juba Gold views building the library now, before they acquire any Exploration Licenses as a sign of good faith to the people of South Sudan. “We hope to be viewed as the kind of corporate citizen that the people would like to see more of operating inside their country”, Mr. Reukl further commented.
Work on the library has begun with the preparation of the site, located adjacent to the classrooms, andwork is now underway to acquire the materials needed for the base of the library. Once the materialsare brought to the site, construction of the base can begin and the project be moved forward.
The project is estimated to take about six to nine months. Once the building is finished shelving and furniture can be acquired and moved in. Then the library will be ready to be stocked with the books and reference materials.