In 2017, the area of South Sudan was ranked the world’s most difficult area for girls to receive an education. Even a basic education is a right denied to many. In fact, only 37% of girls will enrol in education, just 2% will go on to enrol in secondary education and 52% of girls are married before the age of 18.
Most households (on average 10 members so quite large) are female headed with many men having lost their lives in conflict and in many cases those who survived are now working away from home to try to earn some sort of living; so the burden on women in the region is heavy.
The Lorna Byrne Children’s Foundation is committed to changing this. We are working on a project that gives female household members access to a decent paying job to support their families which not only greatly empowers women but also reduces reliance on aid in the area.
The project is made up of a primary school, secondary school and Primary Health Care called Loreto Rumbek. Women are given job opportunities in the school and gardens; and their families are educated in the school. We offer a partial scholarship for two members of the family, over 96% of school fees are subsidized which enables the school to provide a quality education.
In addition we provide food support to these children and families, with food scarcity being a common challenge in the community, food prices are often high and unpredictable making access to this basic need very difficult.
Healthcare is also an issue in South Sudan due to prolonged conflict, climate change and economic insecurity many facilities are poorly stocked or even closed so having basic access to healthcare is a serious danger for children. Children particularly under the age of 5 are most vulnerable in this community and sadly many lose their lives.
We are also working with the Mary Ward Primary Health Care Clinic in the area offering access to medical care, complementary nutrition, health education, water and sanitation education, maternal and well-baby care and counselling. Our aim is to reach more children and more families, and we can only do this with your help, so thank you.
To support the work of the foundation see www.foundation.lornabyrne.com/donate
For more information on the Lorna Byrne Children’s Foundation see www.foundation.lornabyrne.com