Touch AFRICA Now  (TAN)


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REFUGEE CHILD PROTECTION INITIATIVE

REFUGEE CHILD PROTECTION INITIATIVE


On July 8, 2016 fresh fighting broke out in the already fragile country of South Sudan. As the world’s newest nation, just celebrating 5 years of independence from northern Sudan, South Sudan has already experienced civil war. In December 2013, a reported attempted coup by the Vice President Riek Machar (of the Nuer tribe) against the President Salva Kiir (of the Dinka tribe), caused intense violence and forced tens of thousands to flee to neighboring countries. (We, as Touch Africa Now, have been working since that time to assist refugees in Rhino Refugee Camp in Arua.) This most recent conflict also occurred because of a misunderstanding between the soldiers of Machar and the soldiers of Kiir, when the two sides attacked each other at an otherwise peaceful meeting, after rumors spread that Machar was going to be arrested.

Since that night of July 8, South Sudan has been unstable, and hundreds (possibly thousands) have lost their lives. And nearly 100,000 have fled.

The sheer number and pace at which people are entering has created an almost-impossible situation. Tents have been set up in several camps throughout the region (including Rhino Refugee Camp, where TAN works) to accommodate people, and aid has been distributed; however, resources are not enough.

As always, the most vulnerable population is the young children, who make up over 60% of the total refugee numbers. Some children flee violence but lose track of their parents along the way; others’ parents died in the fighting and another adult helped the children escape; many others leave with their mothers only, which puts them at a higher risk for rape and assault along the way and in the camps; still others arrive with both parents but face the trauma of being torn from their home suddenly. These children need assistance now more than ever, as they struggle to make a new “home” in a camp environment.

Unfortunately, most organizations involved in the camps do not focus specifically on young children. Many provide general services suitable for adults. Those children who are with their parents stand a better chance of survival, but those who are “unaccompanied minors” are at a very high risk of being taken by human traffickers, of disease and starvation, and of death.Our aim is to target those young children who have no one else to look after them. Since we already have Early Childhood Education Centers set up in the camps, we can use these areas to take in new children who are in need. We have created a “basic needs” budget of what it would cost to assist one of these children, specifically an “unaccompanied minor” for one year.

COSTS PER YEAR PER CHILD:

Care provided at school in our Refugee ECD Centers-
               -Feeding (1 meal of porridge at school) - $100
               -Uniform (a pair of shorts and a shirt for boys and a dress for girls) (to provide  protection by easy identification) - $10

Care provided at home-
                -Blanket (to prevent hypothermia, due to sleeping in inadequate structures) - $5
                -Clothing (one outfit for hot weather and one outfit for cold weather) - $12
                -Mosquito nets (to help prevent malaria) - $8
Others-
                -Implementation costs (include, transport, communication, daily allowances for
                  fieldworkers,etc )- $15


                                        Total care: $150 / year / child

OPM

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