Update Feb 2024: We are sending emergency funding to feed and provide shelter for displaced families affected by the recent conflict in the disputed Abyei region on the Sudan / South Sudan border. Our partners in the area are supporting 1000 displaced families in the area. Donations made via the form below will support these efforts until further notice.
South Sudan is the world’s newest nation, and one of the world’s most fragile states. Years of war and violence mean education in South Sudan has been severely disrupted for generations. Only 27% of adults are literate, and prospects for children are dire. Therefore, improving education in South Sudan is a key priority.
What are the challenges for South Sudan?
In South Sudan 70% of children aged between 6 and 17 have never set foot in a classroom. Only 10% of children complete primary education – one of the worst completion rates in the world. Shockingly, a girl in South Sudan is more likely to die in childbirth than to complete primary education.
Global Care is working for change. We believe education is one of the best tools for breaking the poverty cycle, and can do so within one generation. We are committed to improving education in South Sudan. However, children trying to access education in South Sudan face many barriers to success.
For example. a lack of quality teaching staff and inadequate school buildings are challenges added to extreme poverty, as families desperately work for the next meal.
This is compounded by the violence and unrest militia groups bring to these poor communities. Thousands of young people join militia groups every year in the absence of any other source of livelihood, creating a vicious cycle of destruction.
What is Global Care doing to fight child poverty in South Sudan?
Working with local partners, we’ve begun the work of improving educational opportunities for vulnerable children in South Sudan. Each new connection and small investment we make helps in its own right but also builds relationships with local partners. This enables us to see where longer-term investments can make a real difference to improving education in South Sudan.
Teacher training is improving education in South Sudan
Our first partnership was a teacher training project with the rural Diocese of Wau. We put 50 young people who had completed secondary school through a three-year teacher-training programme. Trainee teachers taught in the mornings and trained in the afternoons and this led to immediate improvements in the quality of education for hundreds of students. More and more students benefit as the years go by.
*Mary’s family have experienced repeated trauma. Before the 2016 Civil War, Mary’s family lost their house and possessions in a fire. Then, during the war, she was threatened by gunmen, the family property was looted, and Mary lost her business when their town was destroyed. Mary and her family moved to a small tukul at an overcrowded United Nations Protection of Civilian’s site. Without any qualifications, Mary began teaching 165 children at a primary school. In 2018 she enrolled on the teacher training course.
Mary’s pupils immediately began to benefit from her new skills and knowledge. And, with a teaching qualification, she hopes to improve her family’s standard of living and earn enough to pay school fees so her children can attend school.
Safe classrooms are improving education in South Sudan
Thurlith Primary School is a remarkable place. The school educates over 150 orphans, abandoned children and street children, giving them vital skills for a future out of poverty.
When started by a South Sudanese vicar in Gogrial, South Sudan, the school met in basic shelters. However, floods washed away the school buildings, meaning that children had to meet under trees on the site. Therefore, attendance became erratic and learning was disrupted by the rainy season.
We worked with the Diocese of Wau to construct sturdy timber thatched shelters, offering four classrooms and a store. With a dry, safe place to meet, vulnerable children can begin to learn again. This short-term investment has changed the prospects for 150 children who are keen to learn and grow.
School toilets are improving education in South Sudan
A small but vital investment in Agok Primary School, Abyei, has been of particular help to girls. Abyei is a disputed region claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan. Therefore there is a high risk of conflict, and many larger funding organisations won’t contribute to development there. In Agok Primary School, girls were missing out because their toilets were damaged by floods and dangerously decrepit. Because of the lack of facilities, girls were leaving lessons early or arriving late – and many were dropping out entirely.
Thanks to funding from Global Care, these girls were delighted to celebrate the opening of the brand new girls’ toilet block, complete with air vents and toilet covers. This removes a significant barrier to education for girls, making school possible again.
It was such an exciting (and locally unusual) achievement, the opening of the new toilets was featured on local radio!
Relief in the midst of conflict
We are increasingly working in the disputed region of Abyei, where children have very few opportunities to learn. In early 2023, we were able to offer relief to 50 particularly vulnerable households. Ongoing conflict brought widespread suffering to the people of Abyei, with deadly attacks between clashing communities and this was compounded in autumn 2022 by devastating floods . Families were displaced and their livelihoods destroyed. Also, crop damage increased food insecurity. With limited help from local authorities, many families were not in a position to recover from the compounding disasters.
Our partners identified 50 vulnerable households including 197 children, where severe malnutrition was heightened by other factors. Female-led households were identified as being particularly vulnerable. The food and medical supplies distributed by our partners brought much-needed relief to extremely vulnerable children.
*George is 12 and lives in a small house with his five siblings and mother. The realities of being a female-headed household have forced the family into severe poverty and hardship. This is particularly evidenced in the signs of trauma and psychological distress our partners noticed in George. But the relief and support our partners brought have given George hope.
He says, “Thank you for the food from Global Care… It will help children like me to return to education, which we could not do if there was no food. It is needed to help us concentrate in our lessons.”
I’d like to help
Become a part of this evolving project by joining us as a Change-Maker, with a monthly gift. This enables us to build up a regular income stream so that we can continue to bring new opportunities to children in South Sudan. Or you can donate, your gifts are always welcome. Make your donation below.I want to help