Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Seeds of Change

Project #
Clark University
  • Chelsea Ellingsen

Although rich in history and natural resources, Sudan and its people have suffered through much of the last half-century as the result of violent conflict. Chelsea Ellingsen believes that if there is any chance for progress and peace in that war-torn country, all human resources must be tapped, and a good way to begin is through education. With this in mind, she set out to help the community of Gol, in Bor County, southern Sudan, to renovate the primary school.

Founded by community volunteers, the school building was little more than mud huts with thatched roofs. Termite damage required the roofs to be completely reconstructed three times each year. Walls were made of a poor quality of sand, leading to constant collapse. Villagers raised $6,000 toward a metal roof and Chelsea dedicated her Project for Peace grant to the complete renovation of three classrooms.

As a result of the school renovation, 60 children will benefit from a comfortable and stable place in which to learn. As the prospect of peace comes closer to southern Sudan, young people will need alternatives to futures as soldiers or as cattle herders. A basic education is the key to opportunity for these who have been denied so much.

Chelsea is back at Clark now, working on establishing a nonprofit organization to further the goals of bringing education to Sudan.