'They are safe'
Hawa, 22, is a member of a community-based child protection network set up by Save the Children in Doro refugee camp, Upper Nile state.
The networks in the camp were given training on child rights and child protection by Save the Children so that they can identify children at risk of abuse or neglect, or who need special assistance. Depending on the severity of the issue, the members of the networks will either try and find a solution in partnership with community leaders and the child’s parents, or will refer to Save the Children for support.
Hawa said, “Some of the children in Doro do not have their parents with them, they are across the border or may be they are dead. When we find these children, we tell Save the Children about them so the can get extra help.
“We monitor the places where children go and play to check that they are safe. We also walk along the route that children take to school to make sure they are going to class and not playing in the road; if we need to report cases to the teachers we do this.
“If we see any problems with children that need to be handled, then we will sit and discuss them with the parents or with the sheikhs. The serious cases we report to Save the Children to help with.
“There are some children who go and sell bread in the market or who are grazing animals in the bush. I go and talk to their parents about the rights of these children but it can be difficult to change their minds and allow their children to go to school.
“I like to make sure that the children here are growing up well, and are happy in the community and their families, and themselves. We want them to know what they are, how they can be, and what they can do in the future. We want them to grow up well, to help their parents and to go to school, this will be very important when they go back home.”