With a population of about 13 million (United Nations Estimates) on an area of 619,745 sq. km (239,285 sq. miles): South Sudan a home to over 64 different major ethnic groups ranking it among the most divers countries in Africa, Majority of its people follow traditional religions. The young country has been through a series of events including:
- 1956 – Sudan becomes independent but southern states are unhappy with their lack of autonomy. Tensions boil over into fighting that lasts until 1972, when the south is promised a degree of self-government.
- 1983 – Fighting starts again after the Sudanese government cancels the autonomy arrangements.
- 2011 – South Sudan becomes an independent country, after over 20 years of guerrilla warfare, which claimed the lives of at least 1.5 million people and more than four million were displaced.
- 2012 – Disagreements with Sudan over the oil-rich region of Abyei erupt into fighting, known as the Heglig Crisis. A peace deal was reached in June 2012 that helped resume South Sudan’s oil exports and created a 10km demilitarized zone along the border.
- 2013 – Civil war breaks out after the president, Salva Kiir Mayardiit, sacks the cabinet and accuses Vice-President Riek Machar of planning a failed coup. Over 2.2 million people are displaced by the fighting and severe famine puts the lives of thousands at risk.
- 2015 – Warring sides sign a peace deal to end the civil war, but the conflict continues.
- 2016 – Fighting breakout in Juba and Equatoria and Barh-el Ghazal regions forcing additional thousands refugees in the neighboring counties.
The July 9th 2011 independence following January 2011 Referendum ushered was a historical milestone for peace and liberty of the South Sudanese people and the region. Despite the numerous incidences of violence and destruction, ethnic distrust, limited or no access to basic services, child rights abuses among others and no significant improvement service delivery beyond relief in past 6 years of self governance (independence); the people of South Sudan have paid enough of sacrifice, they still have a reason hope for peace, stability a land of liberty.
As the national anthem ends
Let us stand up in silence and respect
Saluting our martyrs whose blood
Cemented our national foundation
We vow to protect our nation
Oh God, bless South Sudan!
Hold the Child – Emergency and Resilience building Actions six years down the road.
Registered on 23rd May 2011 under the Government of South southern Sudan (GOSS), Hold the Child like many civil and non governmental organizations looked at the glowing hopes among the South Sudanese people and vowed to dedicate our attention to building resilience for reliance no wonder our mission “To strengthen the resilience and capacity of families and communities to meet their obligations to the child through community centred child survival and development initiatives”.
In response to the dynamics associated with crisis, displacement and ignorance our programs over the years have evolved to focus on:
- Quality Service delivery among hot spots and underserved areas; 3 thematic programs are child protection & Juvenile Justice, Education & Life skills development, and Community and Child health.
- Participatory capacity building in relatively calm areas through the 3 thematic programs
- Collaboration and coordination; working the UN cluster systems and local authorities and other sector players to focus the right attention to where the needs are great
- Advocacy and Knowledge management; through initiatives like “Kids Express” that is aired with the support of Radio Miraya FM
Our approach had derived numerous achievements as we grew from Bor town to include areas like Juba, Pochalla, Uror, Fangak, Renk, Twic East, Tonj, Wau, Terekeka, Lobonok [2015 Annual Narrative Report] These have built our reputation among the communities we work and partners we have worked with including; the line Ministries and local governments, UNICEF, Save the Children, UNDP, WFP, and IOM among others who have further supported our cause over the years.
Our initiatives like several other humanitarian and development partners have so far been affected with:
- Limited technical human and fiscal resources to advance our cause to resilience beyond relief programing
- Continued movements and displacements among populations due to insecurity and inaccessibility to service delivery points making resilience building a nightmare.
- Access constraints owing to insecurities, seasonal under-development road and communication infrastructural networks
- High rates of dependence on support among the communities having been in IDP settings for the most of their years
- The economic meltdown aggravating all the above listed challenges.
Amidst these, there has been consistent efforts to support our cause among others across the humanitarian sector and service delivery to the republic of South Sudan; thanks to our partners and the friends of South Sudan
6th Independence Anniversary and the future.
As we join hands in Solidarity with the Children and people of South Sudan to mark today’s’ 6th independence Anniversary. We wish to take this great opportunity to thank you our partners and friends for the support accorded to us and the people of South Sudan and the renewed commitment you have always demonstrated even beyond 2017 as the government and the duty bearer continue with their unwavering effort to peace and liberty on this land.
As we look at the futures ahead of us, looking through the eyes of the Children we work along; this morning on our Kids Express program aired on Radio Miraya FM. Sat 8th July 2017 at noon on “How do the Children look at South Sudanese Independence”
Emmanuel S.2 from Promise land Secondary schools says “We are all South Sudanese, we should work together and understand each other, respect each other, one people” [Kids Express: Listen here]
He echoes what children we have showcased through our advocacy and peace initiatives as early as August, December 2016 #Soldiary4Hope campaign.