Many exciting things are happening in Lietnhom, South Sudan. This update covers three of SMARD’s six different ministries. Future editions will cover the other ministries. Thank you for supporting SMARD and providing hope and a future to the people of Liethnom through God’s grace. 


The most recent statistics for South Sudan, show that the overall literacy rate is one of the lowest in the world at 35%. Poverty and illiteracy are strongly correlated. While a major step out of poverty is education, education is often less available in poverty-stricken areas. Moreover, even when education is available, a struggling family might need their children to work and earn money instead of going to school. 

James Baak, SMARD’s founder, was determined to bring education to South Lietnhom. Today his vision is a reality at the Linda Primary School and Hope Secondary School which educate approximately 831 children annually, providing these children and their families with a better future than was thought possible even a few years ago. 

Leadership Development

The teachers at Hope Secondary School identify their strongest students and encourage these students to continue their education. If the student comes from a family that has some financial means (translation – a family that owns a lot of cows) their family will be able to pay for this opportunity. However, Lietnhom is an impoverished region, and most families would struggle to pay for the cost of university. That is why SMARD founded the Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship Program, which provides a scholarship covering 100% of university expenses. This is done on the expectation that these students will return home after they have completed their studies and invest what they have learned back into their community to help it to thrive through their expertise. The following video highlights a recent graduate from the program.

Health Care

The first graduate of the Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship Program, Angelo Deng, recently graduated from medical school. Previously the people of Lietnhom had to travel 100 miles to the nearest clinic. A medical clinic was recently constructed in Lietnhom in the fall of 2023 with Angelo as its doctor. Today, the clinic is seeing between 250 – 350 patients per month. Babies are now being born into the hands of skilled care. Illnesses such as malaria, typhoid, and enteric fever, which can all be fatal, are now being diagnosed and treated at the Achiek Women’s Clinic.


Tong and his older sister Adut were playing too close to the fire where their mother was cooking lunch. Tong took a bad step and knocked the boiling water off its perch onto his sister and him. Luckily the clinic was only a 30-minute walk away, and their burns were quickly treated.


What do you do if your mother is very ill, you don’t have a car, and she can’t make the long-distance walk to the nearest clinic? You retrofit your neighbor’s broken bicycle with a chair and push her for 7 hours to the clinic get to help!

Mary was admitted to the clinic last week with severe malaria, dehydration, and anemia. Mary was treated at the clinic for several days and was able to return home on her own strength.

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Angelo’s Graduation Ceremony

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