Windle News on South Sudan

Windle has been working in South Sudan since 2005.

Girls attending classes in Panrieng A Primary School

The war that broke out in December 2013 has meant that the 2015 academic year has been a difficult one for school children all over South Sudan. The consequence has been catastrophic for the nation’s sense of unity, its economy and its external reputation. But what is really encouraging is that – despite fear, violence and displacement – girls’ attendance at school has not significantly declined.

Teacher writing on board

In December 2013, a civil war began in South Sudan. It is a war that has been marked by brutal violence against civilians and deepening suffering across the country. Insecurity and active hostilities constrain civilians’ freedom of movement. The major humanitarian consequences are widespread displacement due to the violence; high rates of death, disease, and injuries;  and severe food insecurity and disrupted livelihoods. The long term task of building a collective sense of nationhood has suffered a major blow.

Photo of IDP children in temporary learning space in Lakes State

For years there have been calls for greater attention to education in crisis situations from a multitude of advocacy organisations.  The enormity of the problem is clear. Just 2% of humanitarian aid is allocated to education. The proportion of out of school children living in conflict-affected areas is on the rise. Conflict-affected states are often the furthest away from meeting education goals. The heart of the bias against supporting education in emergency contexts is the view that education is not seen as immediate and lifesaving – and for that reason it is not a donor priority.

Photo of South Sudanese children in refugee camp

On 15 December armed conflict broke out in Juba, the capital of South Sudan and this quickly spread to other parts of Juba. The violence escalated and bitter fighting broke out in other parts of South Sudan, namely Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity states.

We are happy to report that all our staff were safely evacuated from the troubled areas. However, some staff have been unable to return home as their home towns have been under fire and are currently unsafe.