Desperately hungry children in South Sudan need our help
South Sudan has the world’s highest rate of children out of education.
More than a decade after gaining independence from Sudan, lives and livelihoods in South Sudan are on a knife-edge as violence, internal displacement, deep poverty and hunger continue to engulf the world’s newest nation.
Education across the country has been drastically hindered by the years of conflict and upheaval. Life for families is a real struggle, with survival often taking priority over children attending school.
South Sudan is now one of the poorest countries in the world and the country’s economic instability has pushed the humanitarian crisis to its limits. More than half the population (7.24 million people) face acute food insecurity, and millions more are far from home, displaced, or seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.
Around 2.2 million primary school aged children are not in education – the highest rate in the world, with girls more likely to miss school. The UN estimates that more than half (55%) of people have insufficient food intake and a third (31%) of children under five suffer from chronic malnutrition. The impact of Covid-19 and extreme flooding which has plagued areas of the country for the past three years has only exacerbated the situation for thousands.
Head teacher Ben Makoi has seen exam results improve considerably since we started serving Mary’s Meals at Daniel Comboni Primary School in Rumbek.
He says: “I’m very excited because they are doing well and if they were not eating well, they would have not performed well. It is because they are eating, then the body is fresh, they are doing well.
“The number in the school is representing all the communities within Western Lakes State. If they are united in the school here, they will tell the same thing to their respective areas and to their parents, to their relatives, to their colleagues outside. I think this is our priority to unite these students.”
We are already feeding around 70,000 hungry children every school day in South Sudan, working in partnership with local organisations Diocese of Rumbek and the Mary Help Association to serve maize and beans to pupils at 114 schools in the Warrap and Lakes States regions. But we need to do more.
Help Mary’s Meals reach the next hungry child in South Sudan.
Click here to find out how you can get involved.