For Freshman House D students, history, English and Geometry are not just for learning about the Soviet Union, William Shakespeare or mathematical equations. House D students are also exposed to the culture and current issues facing the country of Sudan. “Strides for Sudan,” a service-learning project that blossomed last school year, is now flourishing with this year’s class.
In Sudan, a cultural genocide is escalating, forcing diseased and starving men, women and children into overpopulated refugee camps. Food and water is hard to come by, and healthcare workers are always in need of medical supplies to help the sick.
A new health clinic is planned to house Sudan’s injured citizens. This is made possible by the fundraisers held by past and present freshman efforts, including a walk-a-thon, a “chili cook off,” and numerous bake sales held at UAHS.
Last year, students worked to raise approximately $14,500, according to House D Geometry teacher Diane Kahle, and the money contributed to the installation of solar panels into the new health clinic located in Piol, Sudan, as well as a generator and a refrigeration unit to store immunizations.
This year’s House D students hope to raise $15,000 for the boys and their families, as well as others suffering in Sudanese refugee camps, to help buy immunizations, medications and medical supplies. The class has already raised $6,446.64 so far.
For freshman Halle Trabue, one of House D’s class representatives, a lot of planning and knowledge goes into making a fundraiser possible—especially because it is almost all student run.
“It’s been a learning experience, working together instead of having teachers tell you what to do,” Trabue said.
With former freshman, now sophomores, ready to supply their past knowledge and experience to the project, sophomore Audrey McMahon said she is proud to continue in her leadership of the developing project’s success.
“Whenever I have a bad day, I think about what the refugees in Sudan are going through,” McMahon said. “[Participating in the project] rationalizes global issues into something that happen[s] in real life.”
House D offers many opportunities for others to contribute to the cause, including “Strides for Sudan,” a walk-a-thon at Jones Middle School on May 21. •