Dir.: Till Muellenmeister
Photo: T. Muellenmeister
Montage: Anton Wenzel
In July 2011, South Sudan became the fifty-fourth state on the African continent. The world's youngest independent nation faced tremendous challenges: levels of extreme poverty remained high as hundreds of thousands of displaced South Sudanese returned to their homeland. Ongoing political disputes led to a crisis in December 2013, and fighting broke out around the country.
Children in South Sudan are born into a very unstable society; they face many risks and are in need of special care and protection. Many have lost their parents in the long-standing conflicts or due to HIV/AIDS and have nobody to care for them.
The work of SOS Children's Villages in Sudan began in 1978. Over the years, hundreds of thousands of people - especially children - have suffered the impact of war, droughts and floods. When South Sudan became independent in 2011, a new SOS Children's Villages Association of South Sudan was founded. At the same time, we launched an emergency programme to assist some of the unaccompanied children who had returned to South Sudan.
There is one SOS Children's Village in South Sudan, located in Malakal. Children whose families can no longer take care of them can find a loving home in one of the SOS families there. In early 2014, the SOS Children's Village Malakal was looted, and the children and young people were forced to leave. The families were evacuated to Juba, where they found safety. The children received psychosocial support and their health improved. At the time of writing the situation remains unstable. We are working very hard to ensure the safety of the families and, taking into account the security situation, making decisions based on the best interests of the children.