LWR began working in South Sudan in 2012 through our partner Lutheran World Federation (LWF). The world’s newest country has been engulfed in civil war since December 2013 that has displaced nearly 2 million people [source: UN OCHA]. In addition to the refugees who have fled the ongoing fighting in Sudan, South Sudan now faces a crisis of internally displaced people as well. Extreme poverty and some of the world’s lowest levels of development are made even worse by the conflict. Basic infrastructure is severely lacking and access to services such as healthcare, education, water and sanitation is nearly nonexistent in some areas.
LWR’s programs in South Sudan target the Gendrassa, Batil and Kaya refugee camps and the communities that host them: Ajuong Thok and Maban. These communities are in two of the hardest hit states that border Sudan: Unity and Upper Nile. LWR and its partner LWF are responding to immediate child protection needs, ensuring boys and girls have access to quality basic education and develop life and vocational skills. The project also addresses immediate protection needs and seeks to strengthen community structures that protect children in the camps, such as establishing Child Friendly Spaces and promoting child protection through community-based networks. LWR is also working to reunite children who have come to these camps unaccompanied by adults, or have been separated from their families on the long journey.