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Oct 10, 2017
Category: School Bulletins
Bishop Hiboro Edwardo , of Tambura Yambio diocese, recently made a trip to Ibba Girls School on the 8th and 9th October. Bishop Edwardo visited the school, ordained two local priests (Rev. Fr. Tombe and Rev. Fr. Babitimo) and confirmed the twenty-seven catholic girls who attend the school currently.
At the oridination function, several other guests attended, including the Minister of Education and the Minister of Information, representing the governor of Maridi State. The reverend Sisters from Solidarity also attended.
Many of these guests were able to interact with the students and were impressed with their level of religious education. Fr. Joe from Source-yubu in particular was able to talk to the girls and bless those who wanted it.
The Bishop and all the visitors expressed their gratitude to FIGS for their initiative in opening and funding a girls school that is transforming the lives of these girls.
An exciting day was enjoyed by all, including staff and students.
Jul 16, 2017
Category: School Bulletins

This term's Music, Dance and Drama Competition took place on Parent Visitation Sunday, with a good number of the girl students' parents turning out for their daughters' performances. To show support, some parents who found it difficult to travel from less accessible counties sent friends in their stead. 

Joyful reunions with loved ones were followed by a time of sitting under the trees, discussing with the classroom teacher and their daughter how she had fared in recent school tests, and what could be done to improve in the next round. The girls are remarkably diligent and keen to learn all that they can.

Despite some rain, a Music, Dance and Drama competition followed. Parents and invited guests watched raptly from the veranda as the girls sang, danced and acted their hearts out in the drizzle.

Soon the results were in: Zebra House had come top, followed by Tiger and Elephant respectively. The winners received the prize of a he-goat with pride, and everyone was encouraged by the Ibba County Commissioner, our VIP, to stay in school until the successful completion of their studies at Senior Level 4. 

We would like to congratulate Zebra House on their first class efforts - and thank all who attended, whether parents, friends, local leaders, or staff and students, for their continuing support of Ibba Girls Boarding School.

Jul 12, 2017
Category: School Bulletins

Dear All

Warm greetings from us here in Ibba. I'm pleased to inform you that amid the current economic, political and security changes. Ibba county which is relatively calm  in the security situation, organized the independence day celebration of the 6th anniversary.

Our school was invited to participate in the celebration. The girls had a wonderful parade, presentation of a song and poems which gave an important message to parents and leaders to support education.

This desired education could only be achieved through peaceful living. Our school was praised and thanked for uniting people through the in take of pupils which is not only limited to Ibba county. Here are some photographs taken from the independence day celebration.

God bless you.



Apr 17, 2017
Category: School Bulletins

Dear All

We send you greetings from the school community. We had very good church celebrations of the day with the community members in both Episcopal Church of Sudan and the Catholic church.

Here are some of the photographs taken from the church service. The last photograph was on Saturday as the prepared for this day. Our regards to you.

God bless you.




Apr 17, 2017
Category: School Bulletins

Most of the Ibba girl students identify as Christians, and so some of them joined in with the local Episcopal Church of Sudan and Catholic Church celebrations on Palm Sunday and Easter, as they usually do. In these photographs, you can see the girls carrying and waving palm branches, both in rehearsal, and then at the church services on both days. On Easter Sunday at the local Catholic church, classroom teacher Yoane and groundsman Juliano were also invited to give the second reading. That special morning's activities were followed by having lunch together back at the school, on the veranda of the classroom block.


Mar 2, 2017
Category: School Bulletins

Responding to the Crisis in South Sudan - FIGS March Bulletin

Jul 21, 2016
Category: School Bulletins

Vicky Dratia, Ibba Girls Boarding School's Director of Studies, recently sent us the following report on the school's Parent Visitation Day and annual inter-house Music, Dance and Drama competition, which is always a hotly contested event! Read on for her updates:

"Very warm greetings from us here in Ibba. We are fine and getting on well with school activities. The Parent Visitation day and Music, Dance and Drama competition went well, though parent turnout was very poor due to insecurity on the roads and the very high cost of public transport currently.

However, those present were impressed by the pupils' performance in the different activities. The chief guest, the county education officer, offered 35 UNICEF school bags to the winning house, Elephant, and 100 exercise books for the second and third houses respectively. (The houses are called Elephant, Tiger and Zebra.)

The school offered a he-goat and sweets to the winning house, and sweets to the second and third houses respectively.

We hope to complete the rest of the term peacefully, by the grace of the Good Lord. Photos of the preparation for this day and the presentations are sent by Fabiano.

Best wishes




Jul 14, 2016
Category: School Bulletins

Dear friends,

Many of you will have heard in the media over the past week of the further outbreak of violence in Juba the capital of South Sudan, with the senseless loss of hundreds of lives. 
This brief note is just to reassure you that, mercifully, Ibba has not been affected by this violence, that the students and staff are all safe, and that the school has been able to continue with its planned programme of teaching and learning as usual. (See their courageous messages below)

The school continues to employ security staff to guard and patrol its gated compound round the clock, keeping the girl students and staff protected; and we are keeping closely in touch with key contacts across the country for updates on the situation as it unfolds.
A ceasefire has now been signed (again) by the warring parties in Juba and so far this seems to be holding. However, the violence has taken its toll. One of the school’s key founding governors, Bishop Wilson Kamani, has been very concerned for the safety of his family living in Juba, and they had to go without food for 4 days (see his e-mail below). Carol and Nigel Weallans from Nottingham (who have been working in Ibba on behalf of CMS Ireland) have been air-lifted out to Arua, in Uganda, until it becomes clearer how the situation develops. And one of FIGS UK Trustees, Dr Pamela Lomoro, tragically lost both her uncle (who was caught in cross-fire) and a close friend who was killed in the Juba shootings.

This is a further indication of the failure so far of the country’s Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) to act in the national interest, integrate the two armies, control the disparate militias, and re-establish security and the rule of law to provide protection and security to all its citizens – and then to develop a stable economy and an inclusive democratic process.

We know from the history of peace-building after conflict (e.g Northern Ireland, South Africa, Iraq) how hard but necessary it is to make the transition from military to civilian rule, and to establish a sense of common national purpose which can harness all the different conflicting interests behind a strategy for physical, political economic and social development for the whole country (as Gordon Brown, UN special envoy for education, has argued so powerfully).

We are just grateful that in this period of continued volatility, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguity and powerlessness, Ibba Girls School can continue to act as a small beacon of hope, and as a small practical example of what peace would look like in South Sudan.

Please keep them all in our thoughts and prayers.


Chair of Trustees


Vicky Dratia, Director of Studies, e-mailed on Monday to say 

“Warm greetings from us here in Ibba Girls School. Though the security situation in Juba the capital city is scaring, Western Equatoria is still calm. Santino made several calls this morning and afternoon in order to ascertain the security situation in Western Equatoria  and to determine our safety. The feed back he received indicates that all is still. We pray that what is happening in Juba does not spread to us here.”

Agnes Ozitiru, Primary 5 class teacher e-mailed on Monday  

“We are really praying for peace for this country. We have been sad for the bad situation. Be blessed. Greetings to the rest of the members and friends.”

Fabiano Kumbawote, Primary 4 class teacher e-mailed on Tuesday 

“Our situation in Ibba is good, no gunshots; but our only problem is on the way to Yambio where there are some wrong elements who want to steal things from people. Our school is running now so smoothly with all its facilities and the building of the new dorm is almost finishing.
"So I want to update you about the academic performance of the 40 newly girls as P4 classteacher. So in this term I have seen great changes in their understanding and spoken language, because they are able now to debate with other classes. Therefore we are working together with all the teaching staffs to build up these girls so that they can be able to reach the standard of being in Ibba Girls boarding school.”

Bishop Wilson Kamani, Ibba Diocese, e-mailed on Tuesday

“Dear John, Thank you so much for your continued concern and prayer for this country. Our country is now in chaos but by God's grace people are pushing. Thanks be to God because your prayer has been answered because cease-fire was declared yesterday by the both sides. After four days without proper food to eat, my wife managed this morning to go to a nearby market to look for what to eat. It is our prayer that let the cease-fire continue to be respected.”

Bishop Wilson Kamani, Ibba Diocese, e-mailed on Tuesday

“Dear John, Thank you so much for your continued concern and prayer for this country. Our country is now in chaos but by God's grace people are pushing. Thanks be to God because your prayer has been answered because cease-fire was declared yesterday by the both sides. After four days without proper food to eat, my wife managed this morning to go to a nearby market to look for what to eat. It is our prayer that let the cease-fire continue to be respected."

May 26, 2016
Category: School Bulletins

Church and government mourn Sister Veronica in Yei

Apr 27, 2016
Category: School Bulletins

It was back to normal lessons following exam week.  Fabiano's science lesson on clouds was fortunately supported by numerous cloud types in the sky above.  It was pleasing to see that Fabiano had used a number of the teaching techniques demonstrated by the UK teachers in the training sessions in the previous week.

The girls afternoon football training session was begun professionally with a jog around the field followed by exercises. The match started well with a rainbow of football shirts flying across the field; then it happened. The heavens opened and heavy stair rod rain pounded the earth for well over 45 minutes.  The Headteacher was told by the players when he suggested it was time to finish  that "the rules say that once a game has started it has to go on until the end"; and so it did.

Earlier in the afternoon the support staff were given a first aid training session by Julia. Simon the School Assistant gave a Shakespearean performance of a man getting burned while Kefe made a perfect unconscious body.

The evening was rounded off with rousing choruses of Nelli the elephant and the Grand old duke of York supported by exaggerated actions.



Apr 25, 2016
Category: School Bulletins

Its the start of the planting season as the rain has softened the ground so hoeing can be undertaken. In the fields around Ibba men and women are breaking up the ground with their jembe's. At the school the staff have been cultivating their allocated plots of land often bringing in outside labour to assist. Yesterday the girls helped Director Studies Vicky plant ground nuts, one girl would jembe's a hole and the following girl drops in a nut. 

Following a week of exhaustive exams the girls were treated to film night. Freshly flown in from the UK was the film 'Mr Bean goes on holiday'. A perfect show, lots of laughter and shrieks. The visiting U.K. team ran afternoon activities session ranging from board games, knitting, reading, computers, bracelet making and drawing. They were overwhelmed with the demand.

The long awaited Governors meeting took place today, Richard the Headteacher worked very hard to ensure a good attendance. The agenda focused on the planned new buildings and the formation of sub-groups.



Apr 19, 2016
Category: School Bulletins
Apr 19, 2016
Category: School Bulletins
Mar 7, 2016
Category: School Bulletins
Mar 7, 2016
Category: School Bulletins

Published in Riding the Rainbow 

A ‘found’ poem based on the girls’ words.

We are really lucky to be learning here,
No-one ever beats us in this new school,
We can express ourselves without fear,
No fighting among the girls is the rule.

No-one ever beats us in this new school,
Our lovely teachers teach with great care,
No fighting among the girls is the rule,
Learning to live in peace and to share.

Our lovely teachers teach with great care,
We have clean water and delicious food,
Learning to live in peace and to share,
Our bad behaviours are changed to good.

We have clean water and delicious food,
No longer labourers, we just learn and play,
Our bad behaviours are changed to good,
Matron cares for us all in a true family way.

No longer labourers, we just learn and play,
Solars provide light for our study at night,
Matron cares for us all in a true family way,
We sleep in neat beds, with guards on site.

Solars provide light for our study at night,
We can express ourselves without fear,
We sleep in neat beds, with guards on site,
We are really lucky to be learning here.


Pamphlet 44 pages £5
ISBN 9781909404250
Publication date 1st December 2015


Margaret Eddershaw has financed the production costs of this collection and all proceeds from the book are going to Ibba Girls School in South Sudan. Poetry Space is selling copies at zero commission. 

For 25 years Margaret was an actor, director and university teacher of theatre. She performed three of her own one-woman plays at Edinburgh Festival, on UK tour and in London during the 1980s.

In 1995 she took up residence in Greece and began writing poems. Since then she has written four suites of performance poems and presented them at Chester and Lancaster Literature Festivals and  various  venues in London.

In 2013, her first poetry collection, Catching Light, was  published by  Poetry Space. Of this Jo Waterworth wrote:

“No matter where her poems are set, what shines through each one is a strongly-held sense of our common humanity, and an awareness  of the beauty of our shared world.”

Of Riding the Rainbow John Benington writes:

“This lively and witty collection shows that Margaret is a traveller who, in the tradition of great poets, has an extraordinary gift for finding a visual image or a spoken phrase which somehow conjures up a person, a place, a culture, a moment in time.”

Feb 26, 2016
Category: School Bulletins
Feb 22, 2016
Category: School Bulletins
Jan 30, 2016
Category: School Bulletins
Nov 1, 2015
Category: School Bulletins

Dear School Manager's

This is an update on this day and it's activities. All went well though the parents turn up was very low.

We received 25 parents only most of whom represented other parents as well.

The prevailing insecurity and socioeconomic situation perfectly justifies the low turn up.

Cecilia Etto of primary five who had been sick right from the beginning of the term but was not getting better despite, treatment given from both Ibba health Centre and a private clinic in Yambio. Was handed over to the parent to be taken for further medical investigations which are beyond what the school can offer.

The general performance of the girl's indicated improvement, the total marks of the leading students in both classes were higher than the marks they had obtained for end two tests.

This is a brief report on the day. We send to you our regards as Ibba family.

These are some of the photos.




Sep 24, 2015
Category: School Bulletins
Jul 26, 2015
Category: School Bulletins
Jul 2, 2015
Category: School Bulletins
Mar 27, 2015
Category: School Bulletins

An additional group of 43 girls started Primary 4 at IGBS as planned at the start of the new school year in February, as last year’s P4 group moves up into P5 – making 83 girls in total for Year 2, another of the annual stepping stones towards our goal of 360 girls by 2022.

Word is fast getting around that IGBS is an inspiring school, with imaginative teaching and high quality facilities (spacious classrooms and dormitories, solar powered water, electricity, satellite internet etc).

So there is now strong competition for the 40+ Primary 4 places each year. However, it is not first come, first served. IGBS aims to provide opportunities to those with the best potential to learn, whatever their background, status or income. 

So in January we sent a team of IGBS staff out into all the counties and villages of Western Equatoria State, to meet families, interview applicants and carry out a basic English and Maths test. 

When these new students arrived to register at the school on Feb 14 and 15 Yoane and Julia (Acting Head until Richard’s arrival) asked their parents or relatives to make a small contribution to the school costs (in cash or kind – eg goats), and to make a formal commitment to support their daughter’s schooling for the full 9 years from Primary 4 right through to Senior 4 (by shielding them from the competing pressures from domestic work, child care, early marriage and pregnancy).  

This personal commitment by the girls and their families shows in their thirst to learn – not only in the classroom work, but also in the after school activities, and the life in the dormitory and the school community.

Mar 7, 2015
Category: School Bulletins
Nov 11, 2014
Category: School Bulletins


Dates: Apply by letter, with CV and referees by Dec 7 2014

Job start: As soon as possible from Feb 2015 onwards

Location: Ibba County, Western Equatoria State, South Sudan

Contract type: Full Time residential 

Contract term: Three years in the first instance, following satisfactory probation.


The Challenge - and the Opportunity of a Lifetime 

We are looking for a qualified, committed, inspired and inspiring Head Teacher to help lead, develop and manage the new Ibba Girls Boarding School (IGBS), in Western Equatoria State, South Sudan, from Year 2 onwards - to build on the excellent foundations laid in Year 1 by our Australian volunteers, Paula and Jamie Sgherza, who have been working closely with Betty, Yoane, Nama, Agnes and the rest of the  IGBS team to get the school up and running since its opening in March 2014.

Paula and Betty who have been acting as co-heads in Year 1 will both be leaving Ibba at the end of this successful first year.  The Trustees and Governors have decided to change the structure from two co-heads to a single post of Head Teacher, and to search worldwide to find the best possible person to take on this exciting role and responsibility to lead IGBS forward over the next phase of its development.   


The School

IGBS’ long term aim is to provide high quality residential education for 360 girls aged 10 to 18 plus (from  Primary Level 4 through to Senior Level 4) from across the whole of Western Equatoria State, and to empower young women with the values, knowledge and skills for leadership in their local communities and in this newest African nation.

IGBS opened to its first 40 ten year old girls in March 2014. An additional intake of 40 girls will start in February 2015, and again in each year for the next 8 years, until the target of 360 students is reached in Feb 2022.

IGBS aims to provide high quality education rooted in Christian values, but open and welcoming to people of all faiths and none.


The Head Teacher

The UK and South Sudan Trustees and Governors for IGBS ideally would like to find an outstanding Head Teacher from South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya or rest of Africa, or from the Diaspora. However, we are also keen to search internationally (including the UK) to find the best possible candidate for this very important job, which aims to combine the best of African and Western approaches to education.

This is a once in a generation opportunity to make a practical difference to the education and life chances of girls in South Sudan, the majority of whom get no schooling beyond the age of 10 - because of traditional and family pressures to help with domestic labour (cooking, fetching water and fire wood) and looking after younger children – and then early pregnancy and marriage (often as young as 14 years).    


Expressions of interest in this post are therefore invited by Dec 7 from trained teachers of whatever age or background or country of origin.  We are willing to offer a highly competitive salary, food, vehicle, and residential accommodation at the school which has solar powered electricity, running water and satellite internet, However a clear vocation and personal calling to serve and improve girls education in South Sudan are even more important.

The person appointed must be committed to the Christian vision and values which led the Founders and Trustees to set up the school, and to the guiding principles outlined in the job description.  Above all the Head Teacher must be able to lead and manage the school in a way which models and inspires high standards of teaching, a love of learning, a sense of safety and security, and a culture of caring for each other and for the wider community. We need a person (whatever their age, background or experience) who can combine positive energy, clear leadership and warm inter-personal skills with a firm commitment to achieving the highest standards of teaching, learning and behaviour throughout the school.

Further details, together with a film and news about the school are available from our website.


Expressions of interest with CV and referees, to be sent by Dec 7 to John Benington (Chair of Trustees, Friends of Ibba Girls School); Hon Pia Philip Michael (Vice Chair of the South Sudan Trustees for Friends of Ibba Girls School); Commissioner Nagomoro Bridget (Chair of IGBS Board of Governors)


For further details and full job description, please click here.

Nov 5, 2014
Category: School Bulletins

The girls have been busy harvesting and drying beans and green gram after school this week. These will provide the students with food early next year in the dry season when food is hard to grow.


Oct 21, 2014
Category: School Bulletins

Mary repairing her uniform. There are always lots of repairs to be done and the girls are good hand sewers and learning new skills on the 'new' 90 year old machine kindly donated by one of the trustees.

Also this week in teacher Yoane's Science class the girls are learning about sound and music - check out their hand-made flutes...



...and their guitar and bottle top shaker they also made.


Oct 2, 2014
Category: School Bulletins
May 8, 2014
Category: School Bulletins
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