Saturday, March 10, 2012

Charlotte area students collaborate to fundraise for education in South Sudan with concert

In 2005, a peace agreement between north and south brought an official
end to nearly 50 years of civil war in Sudan. In July 2011, South
Sudan achieved independence and became the world's newest country,
mostly devoid of school buildings and access to clean water after
years of conflict.

Now, students in leadership clubs, classes and academies at 10 high
schools in Charlotte and Salisbury are helping change the situation
through the collective effort "Raising South Sudan," a project
supported by Charlotte-headquartered 501c3 non-profit Mothering Across
Continents and its education program The Global ClassSM. This year's
student involvement culminates in two public fundraisers in late March.

The first event is an all ages, family-friendly benefit concert at
Amos' SouthEnd, March 29, featuring Charlotte bands Dangerous Daze and
42: A Tribute to Coldplay, school staff, and a special appearance by
Emmanuel Jal—global recording artist, South Sudanese author/peace
activist and former child slave (in photo). Leadership students from
William A. Hough, West Mecklenburg and Northwest School of the Arts
have planned and organized the benefit and developed sponsorship
opportunities for local businesses.

In addition to a night of great music, students will be selling
Raising South Sudan t-shirts designed by members of the leadership
class at NWSA and raffling off items donated by businesses in the
community. Students set a goal of having 1,000 people attend. Tickets
are a suggested donation of $8 (with a $3 door charge for under 21)
and can be purchased on the Amos' website (http:// ). Doors open at 7pm, with the first band at 8pm
and Jal taking the stage around 10:15pm. On the morning of March 29
Jal will also speak at the CPCC Global Speaker Series, spreading a
message about youth empowerment and the incredible things students are
doing to change the world.

The second event is the Carry the Jerry and Basic 5K Walk/Run in
Uptown Charlotte, March 31, for which students register and collect
pledges – with the option to carry Jerry Cans of water – to
demonstrate empathy for life where survival involves walking miles for
basic necessities. Led by student leaders at Rocky River and
Independence High Schools, Mothering Across Continents has a goal of
registering 500 participants from these schools and the community to
walk on behalf of the organization and support clean water at the
Raising South Sudan school-sites. The students at Rocky River and
Independence are competing for most fundraising dollars and are
inviting donations (

Tickets and registration information for both events can be found at

The student efforts represent the challenge component of The Global
Class, a unique program that integrates classroom learning, an online
community, and a collective fundraising challenge. In the 2011-12
education component, participating teachers and students focused on
South Sudan and stories of former "Lost Boys of Sudan" who fled civil
war as children, grew up in refugee camps, and were specially invited
to come to the U.S. and become citizens. Students have met and
interviewed former Lost Boys living and working in Charlotte and

Says Jeff Joyce, Leadership Advisor at Hough High School, "For our own
benefit and our communities, we must guide today's youth to be
tomorrow's leaders. Global understanding, empathy and teamwork are all
part of leadership. By participating in Raising South Sudan, our
students learn first-hand from people with very different backgrounds
and collaborate with a diverse group of their peers." Joyce was the
first teacher/advisor in this year's effort to propose multiple
schools working together for a common global cause.

"Our commitment is to make sure students can see the connection
between what they learn, how they behave as leaders, and the
difference they can make," said Elizabeth Peacock, Education Program
Manager at Mothering Across Continents and director of The Global
Class. "These students are developing leadership skills locally while
having a direct impact on school building and water projects globally.
It's been incredibly exciting to watch them grow and really come to
own the project over the course of the year."
In parts of South Sudan, only 2 percent of boys and 1 percent of girls
currently graduate from primary school, primarily because school
structures do not exist and children must take classes under the trees
in a region known for its intense rainy season. Over 70 percent of
South Sudanese lack access to clean water.

About MAC
Mothering Across ContinentsSM (MAC)
is a 501c3 non-profit through which volunteer "catalysts" receive
consulting, coaching and mentoring to develop dream projects that help
raise tomorrow's leaders. The MAC mission is "Adopting Dreams. Raising
Tomorrow's Leaders." Currently, MAC supports projects in South Africa,
Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Haiti and Hong Kong. For more
information: Tel.: 704.607.0098; email:
See attached schedule for media/photo ops.