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Bol Maywal’s Story

By Patricia Shafer

I’ve known Bol for about two years now, but this past Sunday was the first chance I’ve had to hear him speak about in a public setting about his experience as a southern Sudanese refugee. Education Program Bol Maywal LebanonManager Elizabeth Peacock and I made a detour on our drive from Charlotte, NC, to Washington, DC and Baltimore, to hear him speak. We sat in the front row with his mother Adout. I was reminded that even though he has been in the U.S. for 12 years now, and the story of young men affected by the past civil war in Sudan has been told many times, every story is unique and every telling is fresh depending on who is listening. In one PowerPoint slide, Bol shared the only photo his family has of time spent in a refugee camp in Egypt. He described a nearby church that in many ways and on many days felt like the only safe harbor in life’s storm. He acknowledged his mother for raising her children and guiding them well in the United States even though she arrived not knowing how to speak English or read and write her name – reality for most women who come into adulthood during war and the aftermath of fleeing it. He beamed with obvious pride at the slide that shows him being commissioned for his entry as an officer in the US Army, a role he officially takes up this January 2014. I’ve been told that southern Sudanese culture places a high value on someone’s story, and it’s important that when someone starts to tell their’s you give them the room to start and finish. I look forward to hearing more about Bol’s.

Youth Leader wins $10,000 Prize

Jordan Jenkins, a junior at Robert L. Patton High School in Morganton, North Jordan JenkinsCarolina, was recently selected as one of the Top 10 award winners in the Amway Who Cares Challenge: Youth Leadership Contest. As an award recipient, Jordan is able to direct a $10,000 prize to a non-profit. She has chosen to the prize to Mothering Across Continents.

We are deeply honored. Throughout the 2012-2013 academic year, we came to admire Jordan’s abilities as a student leader with a truly global sensibility. She is a key student leader and visionary of her school’s annual “Giving Games,” and many visitors to our April 2013 “Any1Can” public art exhibit in Charlotte, North Carolina, commented on her impressive communications skills as a project ambassador.

Jordan at Sensoria

Now, as designee of the Amway Who Cares Challenge funds, we’re making plans . . . We’re in the planning phase for a training program to make global education and global service learning available in a “deep dive” institute-style format. In honor of Jordan’s own efforts, we hope to offer it, first, in Jordan’s home county. The goal: make it easier for teachers and student leaders to have access to information, tools and skills that will equip them as global citizen leaders.

Youth Service America (YSA.org), with whom we are proud to partner, recently listed 10 Facts about Youth Service, including: 1) Between 20% and 55% of young people volunteer; 2) Young people under age 25 make up 1/3 of the population in the United States. These are two reasons why we choose to make projects that support young people’s global leadership development part of our non-profit focus at Mothering Across Continents.

We offer “The Global Class” to schools in order to make it easy and efficient for teachers to incorporate global topics in lesson plans. We developed the “Any1Can Project” to complement The Global Class with high-impact service learning opportunities and coaching. To date, more than 10,000 teachers and students have had access to our global ed and service learning materials. This year, we’ve added online access to make the materials ever more available.