Juba, South Sudan, July 15, 2016 – SOS Children’s Villages has successfully moved children under its care from a local church to a school in an effort to keep them safe from dangerous activity in Juba.
The SOS Village in Juba is home to 130 vulnerable children and young people. Due to recent attacks in the city, SOS children and 31 staff members fled from the SOS Village and sought refuge in a church until they were able to move to a nearby school.
Dereje Wordofa, International Director for SOS Children’s Villages, reports the SOS Village has been looted and that the SOS children are in dire need of basic necessities:
“It is distressing to know that food stocks, children’s clothing, beds, and other household items at the SOS Children’s Village Juba have been looted. Other homes and businesses in the community were similarly looted, heightening the threats to the safety of families supported by SOS.
“I am glad to report that our children, young people and co-workers remain together at a school compound. However, they have limited supplies of food and water and have no mattresses. Our staff are constantly caring for the children and assessing the risks of returning to the village. They are also assessing other options.”
This isn’t the first time SOS Children’s Villages South Sudan has been forced to flee its compound. Back in 2014, about 100 children and 40 young people under the care of SOS Children’s Villages in Malakal, along with 30 co-workers, were evacuated to a UN compound in Malakal because of fighting and looting of the SOS Village. In August 2014, the SOS families displaced from Malakal moved into a temporary village in Jebel, on the outskirts of Juba. The SOS Children’s Village, youth facility, and family strengthening program in Juba opened in January 2015.
This is a developing story and will be updated as information is received from the SOS team in Juba.