With 660 CHF (600 €), you can totally take care of a former street child in Juba, South Sudan, for 2 months!
With the internal conflict, the number of street children is growing in Juba and is estimated at more than 3000 children.
A South Sudanese woman has an average of 5 or 6 children. Driven by war and famine, some rural families ask (?) their children to go to town to get by and bring back money. This includes girls, though in a smaller proportion (6 or 7 times less).
Gradually, these children are cut off from their family, until they have not any news from their relatives. They are left alone with nothing, and gather together, in conditions of great vulnerability. They roam around the markets from early mornings to nights, after the sellers have left, and eat whatever waste they can pick up. Those who are able do some small jobs: shoe-shining, collecting bottles, car-washing.. The younger ones engage in begging.
All are suffering from hunger and violence of all kinds: often addicted to drugs, they become easy prey to all kinds of trafficking and are easily enrolled in gangs or armed militias. Violence becomes customary in their relationships and, paradoxically, the youngest are both threatened and protected by their elders: the weak are beaten and robbed by the stronger that hold them under their control, and force them to steal in exchange for their protection.
More than half of the street children are nearly illiterate, having completed only one or two years of primary school.
This action was initiated in 2013 by former beneficiaries of the SSVP street children program in Khartoum (Sudan) that ASASE has supported for nearly 30 years.
Since September 2014, SSVP Juba manages this program that fully supports and educates 25 street children who used to live day and night in the streets, some of them for more than three years. More than half of them are orphans.
The Be In Hope project’s overall objective is to definitely withdraw a few boys from the street.
Project's specific objectives are:
- Meeting the street children’s basic needs (by offering accommodation, food, care and clothing).
- Providing a stable and secure environment, encouraging personal development and social reintegration.
- Providing access to education or to vocational training.
- Help the beneficiaries to sustainably return to their families and/or to become independent.
They all know that at 18, they will have to leave the program and be reunited with their relatives. However, they have the possibility to stay an additional year if they do a vocationnal training at the VTCDC in Lologo. At the end of this year of training, they must leave the home.
A home has been built in 2015 on a 2.5 ha plot in Rajaf, a 10,000 inhabitants town, about ten kilometers from Juba, on the east bank of the Nile.
A well was drilled in 2016 because the costs of water supply became prohibitive, as the price of fuel soared.
Since 2017, all the boys learn to cultivate the land of their home (corn, mollorhiya, onions, leeks, beans, gombos, eggplants, sweet potatoes): they have the satisfaction of contributing themselves to their own livelihood.
In addition to the foster family, a social worker is present 24/24 at the home. He helps the boys in their schooling. Most of them have never been to school before.
Every summer, three young Egyptian volunteers come for three weeks to provide tutoring and entertainment. They are accommodated in the home.
The program also has a mini-bus and six computers.
Apart from a program, in Kit (a few km from Rajaf), that cares for 17 street children since 2018, this program is unique in its kind in the Juba region.