Hope and Resurrection Secondary School (HRSS) is located in the village of Atiaba in Lakes, South Sudan, in northeast Africa. In Atiaba, there is no electricity, running water, or other municipal services. Even so, many families moved to Atiaba after the opening of HRSS to give their children a chance to receive an education.
Atiaba is located approximately 60 km from Rumbek, the closest major city served by an airport, though a private airstrip is located approximately 10 km from the school. In Rumbek, villagers can buy supplies, access banking services, and visit other schools and organizations. Juba, the nation’s capital is a 9-10 hour drive over unpaved roads. Several primary schools, a market, and a new Catholic church (established by three members of the Class of 2011) are in the area.
Most families are cattle keepers and practice subsistence farming. The area's literacy rate is estimated to be approximately 8%. Many girls in the community are married off by the age of 15 and are never able to attend school.
The village chief, Mangar Marial Benyok, is the uncle of Maker Mabor Marial, and designated the land for the school. He is willing to give more should the school campus continue to expand, as the Atiaba community takes pride and a degree of ownership in HRSS.
In addition to the nearby village of Akot, the school draws students from approximately a five mile radius. The majority of male students walk or bike up to two hours each way to and from school, while the majority female students live on campus in the school's dormitories. There are several primary schools in the region. After students successfully pass Primary 8 (the equivalent of 8th grade in the United States), they may matriculate to HRSS.