WXXI’s Hélène Biandudi Hofer first met Rochester resident and former “Lost Boy” of Sudan, Sebastian Maroundit, in 2011. She interviewed the co-founder and president of Building Minds in South Sudan about a significant vote in his home country in East Africa that would eventually lead to South Sudan becoming its own nation. Little did Hélène know at the time that one of her first assignments for Need to Know would take her 7,000 miles away to the village of Mayan Abun in South Sudan.
Her reporting for WXXI focused on the impact of gender and race in education and how the Rochester community helped fund the opening of a school now known to have the largest enrollment of any primary school in South Sudan. The nonprofit news service CURRENT described the reporting project as an effort to build a bridge between Rochester and South Sudan. WXXI viewers and listeners called it “eye-opening” and “needed.”
Sebastian Maroundit joins the Need to Know host on her last program for WXXI to share how things are changing for children in South Sudan and our community’s continued role in that work.