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عربي

South Sudan’s responsibility towards its children

O. Hannington
The presence of children on the streets of South Sudan is visible — the responsibility of the country towards them, less so.
30.10.2014  |  Yei
Street children attending maths classes at Free Space for Street Children, in Yei, October 13.
Street children attending maths classes at Free Space for Street Children, in Yei, October 13.

South Sudanese culture preaches procreation. The average number of children per South Sudanese woman is 5.43 according to the CIA World Factbook.

However, a problem faced by many parents is taking proper care of these children. This is one of the reasons leading to an increasing number of children on the streets of South Sudan. Other reasons include but are not limited to the absence of a caretaker, poverty, abusive relatives and neglectful families.

These children live a life of continuous suffering: From the one hand, everyday they spend on the street pushes them further away from their childhood — as they face the harshness of the streets from securing food and shelter, to falling victim to drug addiction, abuse and disease. One the other hand, they are perceived by society as a nuisance, and therefore in the best cases, they are overlooked. Mostly, they are either punished or exploited.

In Yei town, there are groups of people who volunteer to provide as much support as they can to the help these street children.
 
But does the support really tackle the problem? Ochan Hannignton reports: