MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) -- The work of two Sudanese war refugees to establish a library in their homeland, along with their Minnesota and North Dakota supporters, is paying off.
The $70,000 building is complete and 20,000 books have reached the city of Juba, the capital of South Sudan, according to the Forum newspaper.
"It's going to be something huge," said Gat-Kier Machar, one of the leaders of the library in the city of Ganyliel, with a population of 30,000 to 40,000, in Panyijiar County. "They have never had a library in the area."
It's awaiting a final shipment once the rainy season ends in a few months.
Machar and Justin Machien Luoi are among the "Lost Boys," the thousands of mostly orphaned boys who fled Sudan during its 22-year civil war. They are among Sudanese in Fargo-Moorhead who have been working with supporters for six years to establish the library.
Many of the donated books are textbooks or educational in nature, covering subjects like medicine, agriculture and business.
The library will be the centerpiece of an educational compound, with plans for a secondary school and stationery store.
Machien Luoi left Fargo and has been in South Sudan since last year, coordinating the project there. Machar has been overseeing the nonprofit that's working to establish the library.