The welfare of children has long been a concern in South Sudan. Due to civil unrest, children have experienced parental loss, violence, abuse, exploitation, and neglect. This continues to be a reality. Many South Sudanese children depend on extended family, caregivers and the wider community for their basic needs.
With holistic care for these vulnerable children, there is hope.
Thanks to our local partner Christian Mercy International (CMI), and with your support, three phases of the Children’s Education Program have now been implemented. The establishment of Emmanuel School was phase one.
At Emmanuel Primary School, 87% of the children have lost at least one of their parents. Half of the children have lost both. Emmanuel School has provided essential care for these vulnerable children and their extended families and caregivers.
The school began with children meeting for their classes under several large trees, which didn’t provide sufficient protection or safety. Without fences or a building, the children would be disrupted by cattle or people wandering by the area. It would also leave the children exposed to the sun, wind and rain. So, the second phase was implemented with the construction of permanent school buildings and fences.
The third phase was ensuring some financial independence for the school.
To achieve greater financial independence for Emmanuel School, the government and other organisations took responsibility for some ongoing costs. The World Food Program took over the running of the lunch program. The government has taken responsibility for paying the teachers' wages. Providing goats to the caregivers was another way of increasing the local support of the school. The Goats Project means that carers can now pay for their children's school fees and cover other education and even medical costs. Before this income support, many of the families didn't know if the children would ever be able to go to school.
The CMI Children's Education Program continues to build on the successful initiatives at Emmanuel School and is working to extend the strategies learned at Emmanuel School to other schools in the area. The program will now carry through to ten other non-profit-making schools around Aweil. Emmanuel School will continue as part of this group.
With your help, we can provide income support for Grade One students. We can give goats to their caregivers, focusing on children with a disability and those without both parents. And we will also be able to increase the education level of their teachers, supporting teachers who have not completed high school. We will establish initiatives like nutrition gardens to improve children’s health.
Thanks for your ongoing support of the Children's Education Program at Emmanuel School. Now, your help will provide more children with quality education across the Aweil state. It will also help increase many children's wellbeing as the project reaches more schools.
This means that they will not only receive an education, but good nutrition, care, and sustainable income. Protection and holistic care.