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South Sudan turns 5 on July 9th. It’s odd to think about another country being only 5 years old when the United States turned 240 years old yesterday. We live in a country of freedom and prosperity. We live in a country where our children go to school. At 5 years old the biggest worry most children in the United States have is what game they’re going to play when they get home from school. Unfortunately, South Sudan is nothing like the United States. Children in South Sudan have more to worry about at age 5 than anyone should have to worry about in their entire life.
South Sudan was a beacon of hope when it was peacefully founded 5 years ago. The country quickly spiraled into armed conflict in 2013. There is now a humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. Nearly 20% of the residents of South Sudan have been displaced from their homes. Almost half of the country’s 10 million residents are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. It feels like there is a never-ending string of humanitarian crisises every year. It can be very easy to become desensitized to all of the suffering. It is easy to look at the raw numbers and move on. It is just a number. However, there are real people suffering each and every day. It is much harder to ignore when you look at actual people.
Her family’s home was destroyed by the war in 2014. At 5 years old, she should be in school. Instead, she spends her days collecting firewood to sell. She hopes her family’s single goat has a baby so her family can have milk to drink. Zeieya, her family, as well as many other South Sudanese are forced to drink contaminated water because of a shortage of clean wells in South Sudan. Zeieya has no toys. Instead, she plays her favorite game. She pretends to grind Sorghum to eat rather than eating real food.
So what can you do?
Please consider supporting CARE.org in their mission to help the impoverished people of South Sudan.
- $150 can provide full nutritional support for a malnourished child
- $84 can provide 3 months of emergency meals
- $70 can provide a family with a crop kit so they begin growing food again
But any amount you can donate goes towards an amazing cause. For South Sudan’s 5th birthday, give it’s children hope for a better future.