Gua Africa officials first visited Leer in 2008, in order to assess the needs of the community. During an introductory meeting with the local elders it was agreed that construction of a secondary school would be put on hold in order to first improve facilities at the two local primary schools.
The Leer Primary School, whilst situated in the oldest concrete building in Leer, faced severe hygiene problems due to a bat infestation and lack of fencing to keep out roaming cattle. Gua Africa replaced the roof, sealing the overhang so no bats could enter. During this time we also erected a perimeter fence to keep out the roaming cattle, and cleaned then painted the interior of the building, including classrooms. Finally a set of brand new toilet blocks were built providing students and staff with hygienic facilities for the first time.
At the Mary John Primary School students were being taught under the trees before Gua Africa funded five classrooms to be built on their site. Prior to constructing the classrooms we also built a borehole which enabled students and staff to have access to fresh water on the school site for the first time. The five classrooms were completed in December 2010 and after an official opening ceremony were immediately put to use with new classroom furniture in place. The classrooms also served as an official voting centre for the first ever South Sudanese government election in 2011. In 2013 the staff and students at Mary John achieved the highest exam grades out of all the primary schools across Unity State, no doubt due in part to their vastly improved learning facilities.