This morning I took a call from Lino in Pajok.
He wanted to pass information on to sponsors of Fiona and Sunday.
An accurate exchange rate between South Sudanese Pounds and Sterling is tricky to obtain.
The latest exchange rate I have is from Nov 2012: 1 SSP = 520 ugx (Uganda Shillings)
Sterling to shillings: £1=4028 ugx
Cross-rate from £ to SSP: £1=7.75 SSP
or 1 SSP = 13p
School Fees for one Term: 250 SSP (£32.27)
School Uniform: 80 SSP (£10.30)
Stationery: 75 SSP ( £9.68)
TOTAL: 405 SSP (£53)
So the total for Fiona and Sunday together is £106 for one Term.
How to get money direct to Pajok? Western Union does not yet operate in Pajok, a legacy of when Sudan was a united country and some Western firms were barred.
We could easily send the money via Western Union to Okenggo John in Kampala. He could take the money to Pajok on his next visit, but he may not be going for a week or two, and it is 350 miles from Kampala to Pajok!
Amal Express operates in Torit, a nearby town 38 miles from Pajok.
Lino could then pick up the money from Torit.
The problem is that Amal Express has no agents near St Helens.
Their main office Telephone No in London is 0208 749 6050.
The nearest agent to St Helens is in Manchester, Tel 0161 256 0086.
The agent is a shop trading as AB Telecom, at 358 Great Western St, Manchester, M14 4BY, 28 miles from St Helens. They send money in US dollars.
To send a principal amount of £150 would cost $220 including the fee.
With Amal Express you have to call in person at the office. You cannot send money electronically.