The Republic of South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, following decades of civil war that saw millions of people displaced and more than two million people killed. The prolonged conflict destroyed vital infrastructure, resulting in gross underdevelopment and a lack of basic services for children and young people in the new country.
Independence also did not mean the end of conflict. The oil-rich border regions have become new battle grounds between the old North and South. The old inter-ethnic strive between various clans has also flared up again. Cattle raids between nomadic groups intensified fighting in the North East of South Sudan. Modern weaponry in the hands of the civilians increases the level of violence both in scale and intensity.
More than half (51 per cent) of the population of South Sudan is under the age of 18 - and this generation has never known anything other than violence, displacement and poverty. Children have been forced to fight as soldiers, were separated from their parents and could not go to school.
Still, children in South Sudan experience the consequences of decades of armed conflict. Road sides are still full of mines, weapons are all around, alcohol abuse and related violence is widespread. Girls are often victim of abuse. Their country is new, but their opportunities are very limited.
What we do
Children and young people are the future of the new South Sudanese nation. War Child supports their development through education, child protection and psychosocial support projects. We support children and young people through programming aimed at developing their self-esteem, increasing learning opportunities (inside and outside the classroom) and providing an opportunity to learn skills, so that they can better express and claim their rights.
To support this process, War Child also works with parents and care givers, teachers, community leaders, national and international partner organisations and government officials. Working together with others, War Child is supporting the process towards a South Sudan, where children can live and learn with dignity.