WHO WE ARE
The people of South Sudan have suffered over 3 decades of war. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between North and South Sudan, signed in 2005, brought an end to hostilities that decimated services throughout the country. As a result of this conflict, an entire generation of children have been deprived of education, desperately needed in a country where <30% of the population are literate.
The Marol Academy grew out of a vision to support education in a safe and accessible environment for children in Jok’s home village, especially girls. The school has grown from a chalkboard under a tree in 2007 to 7 buildings with 18 full time teachers supporting 1,100 students eager to learn.
South Sudan’s independence from Sudan in 2011 put a fledgling government in the spotlight as the nation worked to rebuild itself. Unfortunately, tribalism, greed and power struggles have held the nation back from so much potential development. Despite these challenges, we remain hopeful that South Sudan will continue to rise to her full potential, restore peace and support the growth and development of the country its people deserve.
To bring positive change to the community through girl’s education, increase community dialogue around the importance of educating both boys and girls, and to ensure girls’ education is seen as part of their citizenship right. We strive to offer girls equal chance to contribute to the future development of their nation.
Provide quality co-ed education in a rural setting where no government educational services exist. Strive to support gender-equitable access to education.
Teachers & Staff in South Sudan
- Mayik Thiik Mayik, Supervisor
- Bona Nhial Kuot
- Daniel Dhol Mawien
- David Duyak Kor
- Mary Adeng Bol
- Peter Madau Mayiik
- Kuch Mayol Baak
- Mou Thiik Giir
- Moses Mou Akok
- Wilson Majok Anei
- Makol Reec Baak
- Deng Knot Athian
- Joseph Akeen Angok
- Tto Akok jok
- Parek Akech Achuii
- Santino Awer Akok
- Bul Thiik Mayiik
- Santino Bol Nhiai
- William Akol Madut
- Bol Madut Choi
- Donato Agim Jok
- Alom Wol Dhal
- Akuot Adim Estater
- Yar Malual Dhuor
- Nyawiir Mayer Maiwal
- Ayak Garang Agany
- Bol Dut Athuai
- Kuot Kuot Maruon
Board of Directors
The Marol Academy has a ten-member board of directors
Jok Madut Jok, Ph.D
Executive Director & Founder
Jok Madut Jok, is a highly respected professor at Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles. He is co-founder and executive director of the Sudd Institute, an independent research organization in South Sudan. A native of Marol, South Sudan, he has researched and written extensively on such topics as humanitarian intervention, African and Sudanese political history, slavery, gender based violence, reproductive health, nutrition, and civil conflict. Dr. Jok earned his doctorate in anthropology from UCLA, a Master of Arts degree in Medical Anthropology from the American University in Cairo (Egypt) and a Bachelor of Arts in Arts & Humanities from the University of Alexandria. He is the recipient of several fellowships, has been a research fellow, lecturer and professor at major United States and international institutions, and has published more than two dozen scholarly books and articles.
Barbara Mathieu, Ph.D
Advisor to the Board
Education has been a major focus of Ms. Mathieu’s professional and personal life, and she has observed and participated in the education of children and adults in various settings, including living and teaching in Zambia and Lesotho. As a professor of anthropology at West Los Angeles College, she's seen the transformative power of education in the lives of people of every age. Ms. Mathieu earned her degrees in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is passionate in Marol’s mission to facilitate educational opportunity for children and adolescents of rural Southern Sudan, which she believes is an antidote to the hopelessness of violence and war, and essential to building a stable nation-state.
Victoria L. Graf, Ph.D
Ms. Graf is a professor of education at Loyola Marymount University (LMU), where she also served for three years as special assistant to the Chief Academic Officer. She has dedicated her academic and professional life to the training of future educators, focusing on the special needs field. She has received numerous grants from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education, and has published extensively based on her research, which has taken her to schools across the U.S., the U.K./Ireland, South Africa, Namibia, and Tanzania. In her position as a board member, Ms. Graf was instrumental in organizing a collection project of needed school materials from colleagues, students, and staff at LMU to be sent to the Marol Primary School. She is committed to Marol Academy’s vision of supporting sustainable education in South Sudan.
Peter Buhler, Ph.D
Mr. Buhler is professor emeritus of African history, South Asian, and Middle East studies at Boise State University. His work in all three areas focused on the past as a window to a better comprehension of contemporary developments. His teachings emphasized the reality that all politics, economics, and social phenomena are ultimately local, while most international aid today is centered on development at the national level, except in times of famine, war, or health crises. His travels and research taught him that the most valuable local developmental aid lies largely in the helping hands of locally engaged nongovernmental organizations. He passionately supports what he considers the core need in Africa: the creation of an educated and healthy population to shape a brighter future.
Richard Sundeen, Ph.D
Mr. Sundeen is professor emeritus of the University of Southern California. His teaching and research focused on nonprofit organizations and volunteerism, allowing him considerable insight into the positive role played by nonprofits, as well as the challenges they face. He has also taught and worked in developing countries, such as Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, and visited nongovernmental programs in Tanzania, Guatemala, and Nicaragua. His education and experience have contributed to his drive to work toward providing greater access to education for all people, especially younger persons in rural areas.
Shawn is an 8th grade social studies teacher at Eckstein Middle School in Seattle, Washington. He is also the coach of the school's varsity soccer teams and head of the soccer program in which more than 200 students participate. His students unanimously voted to support the work of the Marol Academy as part of the school’s community service requirement when Eli Mathieu, a member of the early board of directors, was a student in his class in 2007. Mr. Kenyon has continued to guide the students' effort and commitment to build and support schools in South Sudan.
Ms. Forbes’ graduate research focused on the social and economic marginalization of females in refugee camps and post-conflict venues in the Horn of Africa. She traveled to Rumbek, South Sudan, in the summer of 2010, where she learned about the Marol Academy and its remarkable accomplishments. In addition to Patricia's time in East Africa, her volunteer efforts in India and Sri Lanka led her to recognize the transformative impact education has on both individuals and society as a whole, and how education is the cornerstone of a vibrant civil society.
Ms. Wehbi is professor emeritus of early childhood education at Santa Monica College (SMC) after completing 42 years as an educator. As a teacher at Santa Monica High School, she developed a program for pregnant and parenting teens, and later worked as a consultant to the school district. She has designed, staffed, and purchased all equipment for five state-funded preschools. She created SMC’s first online course in the Ed/ECE department, and trained teachers in early childhood education. Ms. Wehbi is honored to serve on the board and looks forward to working with her fellow board members to bring to fruition this ray of hope in South Sudan.
Dan is the Medical Director of Loyola Marymount University Student Health Services. He met Jok at the university and became an earlier supporter of his work in South Sudan. He and his wife Rebecca were married by Jim Mathieu. They have two children. Dan has an MFA in Screenwriting from LMU and hopes one day to direct. Dan and Rebecca credit their educations for getting them where they are today. They believe that every child deserves the opportunity that only education can provide.
Mr. Mathieu, with a degree in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle, created the first website for the Marol Academy. Grandson of incorporator Barbara Mathieu, whose work and dedication sparked his interest in supporting the Marol Academy. He manages all technical web aspects of the organization, and believes in the essential role that education plays in the betterment of individuals and society.