Sudan Evangelical Mission (SEM)



The Sudan Evangelical Mission (SEM) is a Christian-based, indigenous, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) established in 1998 with the aim of responding to the increased suffering of the marginalized and disadvantaged people among the communities of Mundri West, Mundri East and Mvolo Counties in Amadi State. In 2011, SEM extended its services to Maridi and Ibba counties of Mardi State.

Legally, the organization is registered as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with the Ministry of Justice and Relief and Rehabilitation Commission (RRC) at the national level.


SEM VISION: “A dignified and egalitarian society that nurtures justice for all”.


SEM is a Christian and non-profit making organization that exists to work among the vulnerable, least served and the needy communities in South Sudan, to bring about a sustainable change in their lives, through appropriate responses to the HIV/AIDS pandemic, disability, and  adult illiteracy.


The Adult Literacy Programme is non-formal education, which is one of SEM’s key programme components in response to empowerment of the communities to become self-reliant and useful members of the community.

Figure 1. Numeracy class in progress in Kediba payam, WES, in South Sudan

The adult literacy programme should be understood as an educational opportunity to community needs, priorities and experiences, considering the low literacy rates in South Sudan due to the past civil war which lasted over 21 years and left the majority of the population less literate. This then provides an entry point for SEM into literacy programme which builds on communities’ experiences. The aim of the adult literacy programme with SEM is to enable the beneficiaries (the less literate men and women) to better understand their situation and be engaged in all aspects of development where literacy and numeracy is required, in order to increase their self-esteem, become self-reliant and gain control over their own lives and situations. Other components of adult literacy programme include civic education, peace building and conflict resolution/ mediation.


The goal of the adult literacy programme is to raise literacy levels in East Mundri, West Mundri, Mvolo, Ibba and Maridi counties and improve the material lives of the people through a programme of literacy and peace building, thus enabling them to more effectively utilize the opportunities available to them.


  • To reduce illiteracy rates in communities of East Mundri, West Mundri, Mvolo, Ibba and Maridi counties.
  • To build the capacity of adult learners through literacy programmes aimed at enhancing their ability to become players who contribute in a significant and visible manner to develop activities in their communities.
  • Develop supplementary study materials with learners using the REFLECT approach to literacy.
  • Government of South Sudan’s education policy and practice will support adult literacy for displaced persons as a Key element of achieving community cohesion, civic participation and Education for All.
  • Civil Society Organizations’ capacity to deliver effective literacy provision is improved and civic education and peace building is embedded in their work.
  • Displaced persons will have an enhanced capacity for conflict resolution and mediation.
  • Previously non-literate women and men who have been displaced/ marginalized will be able to influence local and national decision-making.


SEM literacy programme have been operating in East Mundri, West Mundri and Mvolo Counties of Western Equatoria, South Sudan from 2002 up to 2011 with funding from HEKKs, EED and TEAR Australia. This year, 2012, SEM has extended its literacy programme to other counties of Western Equatoria i.e. Ibba and Maridi Counties with funding from Feed The Minds.


Some of the activities being carried out by adult literacy programme in SEM include:

  • Provision of basic skills in literacy and numeracy
  • Conducting trainings to all literacy facilitators/ instructors
  • Materials development and provision
  • Community mobilization and sensitization meetings
  • Establishment of REFLECT literacy committee
  • Training of REFLECT literacy committees
  • Training of the Income Generating Activities (IGAs) members
  • Implementation of literacy centres
  • Advocacy and lobbying


SEM’s adult literacy programme achievements include the following:

  • Establishment of 23 literacy centres/ groups across the three (3) counties.
  • Enrollment of 1500 learners in the literacy centres.
  • Training of 69 literacy instructors/ facilitators and 2 field officers in the use of REFLECT approach.
  • Formation, training and disbursement of IGA seed money to ten (10) groups.
  • Development of literacy materials embedded with civic education and peace building
  • Capacity building of literacy instructors/ facilitators.
  • Material development and provisions.
  • Formation and training of literacy circle management committees.
  • Graduation of 1,500  adult learners with stage three (3) certificate of completion.
  • Provision of transport – 16 bicycles to adult literacy facilitators/ instructors.
  • Community mobilization and sensitization meetings were conducted.
  • Extension/ expansion of literacy programme to Ibba and Maridi Counties.


  • Vast areas of operation to be covered with limited resources
  • Donor dependency
  • Unfavorable learning environment
  • Insecurity in some areas of operation
  • Inaccessibility of some areas/ centres especially during rainy seasons
  • Logistics (fuel and vehicle maintenance)
  • Low educational levels of some adult literacy instructors/ facilitators
  • Low community participation and ownership
  • Learners dropout rate is very high
  • No provision of policy and curriculum by the government on literacy programme


  • There is need to lobby for the funds from well wishers/ donors to support those centres and community contributions to sustain the programme
  • We need full involvement/ participation in adult literacy programmes
  • Need government policy and curriculum on literacy education to be developed
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