Engaging Children to speak on the impact of COVID-19 in South Sudan

Saturday 27 June 2020


Screen shot of online discussion with children/Photo: Tito Justin

June 26th, 2020 - Juba, South Sudan: There are currently nearly 2000 cases of CVOID-19 in South Sudan as of 26th June 2020. Measures adopted to respond to COVID-19 pandemic by the government and Aid agencies seem to have a disproportionate impact on children’s rights especially the right to education.

Save the Children is concerned about the potential impact of the COVID-19 posing a risk to children’s wellbeing, education and protection needs in the country. As a result of decades of war in pursuit of self-determination and different episodes of inter-communal conflicts, the government structures and service delivery have been impacted negatively.  The further economic slowdown triggered by COVID-19, coupled with food insecurity is having a heavy toll on child mortality.

In addition to our response to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus in South Sudan, Save the Children is having an online conversation between children and government officials to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on children’s right to education in South Sudan.

The Charity brought together children representatives across South Sudan (from; Juba, Bor, Rumbek, Akobo and Malualkon etc.) to ensure we keep to our child safeguarding guidelines and also reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus and in compliance with public health measures imposed by the government.

Rama Hansraj, Country Director Save the Children:

“Our major aim is to enable a platform for children to engage with policy makers in the MoGEI and other stakeholders, on how we can enable access to remote learning during this time of the pandemic; addressing the challenges facing children in accessing education and how such can inform/influence government policymaking and ensuring continuous access to relevant COVID-19 information by children”.

Save the Children hosted officials from the Ministry of General Education and Instruction, Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare to discuss with children on how to better support children in South Sudan.

 “COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted education across the globe. Whilst we value the importance of education, it is imperative that children’s health is protected against this deadly virus. The government therefore decided to close all schools in order to protect children from this infectious disease. Together with our partners, Save the Children and others, discussions are ongoing to find innovative opportunities to continue learning whilst ensuring protection of children. The Ministry has taken note of children views and will ensure that these views are incorporated into the policy planning and response. I thank all those children who were present today and those who listened in online. I thank Save the Children for organizing this event”, said  Dr. Kuyok Abol Kuyok, Undersecretary Ministry of   General Education and Instruction, South Sudan.

In South Sudan, schools have also been suspended indefinetly as a measure by the Ministry of Health to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Children say they need to be supported to continue learning even if they are at home. 

Save the Children believes it is of the utmost importance to execute its humanitarian mission to support children and their families effectively, safely and with full accountability.

Writen by: Tito Justin