News / Africa

On Day of African Child, South Sudan Children Ask for Peace

South Sudanese children march alongside a police band in Juba on Monday, June 16, 2014, to mark the Day of the African Child.
South Sudanese children march alongside a police band in Juba on Monday, June 16, 2014, to mark the Day of the African Child.
Mugume Davis Rwakaringi
Hundreds of South Sudanese children marched through the streets of Juba on Monday, carrying hand-painted posters and placards calling on grown-ups in the country to stop six months of fighting so that they can lead normal lives again.

The march was part of South Sudan's way of marking the Day of the African Child, an annual event that has been celebrated every June 16 since 1991, when it was first organized by the Organization of African Unity - now the African Union (AU).
 
After marching alongside a police band, the children took part in acting workshops and read poetry describing what they have suffered during South Sudan's conflict.
 
“Imagine. We were preparing for Christmas but received war.
We were expecting to celebrate Easter but our streets
Were filled with noises of battle and rumours of war.
Streams of children from other states filled Juba
With sad stories; with tears falling down.
The fear in their eyes could tell what they should not say
With their words. They saw killings and rape during the war.”

 
Children and the elderly were among the thousands killed in the fighting in South Sudan, some of them massacred in places of worship and hospitals.

Child rights activists say children in South Sudan have been severely traumatized by what they have witnessed during the fighting. The children at the event on Monday asked the adults present to treat every child as if they were their own.

“The blood of another child is like the blood of your own child," their poem said. "The body of another child is like the body of your own child."

Right to education


The theme of this year’s Day of the African Child was the right to education, which is guaranteed under the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child.
A poster carried by South Sudanese children in Juba on Monday, June 16, 2014, the Day of the African Child, asks for the right to go to school.
A poster carried by South Sudanese children in Juba on Monday, June 16, 2014, the Day of the African Child, asks for the right to go to school.


Save the Children’s Caitlin Brady said at the gathering that over a quarter of South Sudan’s schools are closed because of ongoing fighting in parts of the country.
 
We, as children, we want to live in a peaceful South Sudan. We want to go to school. We will build South Sudan to a new nation...
Brady said 95 schools are currently occupied by people who have been displaced by the fighting, or by government and anti-government forces.
 
“It is a major concern because those schools are unable to teach and children are unable to go to school," she said.

Save the children has built more than 30 temporary schools to allow internally displaced children to study, but those dozens of schools are not enough, Brady said.

South Sudan Education Minister John Gai Yoah said the government is aware of the plight of South Sudan’s children and his ministry is working to ensure that all of the country's children are able to go to school.

“We feel that education as the main source of development is the key for doing some challenges that children are dealing with,” he said.
South Sudanese children carry a hand-painted poster calling for peace and unity during a march in Juba on Monday, June 16, 2014, to mark the Day of the African Child.
South Sudanese children carry a hand-painted poster calling for peace and unity during a march in Juba on Monday, June 16, 2014, to mark the Day of the African Child.
Gai said his ministry is working with the army and the opposition to ensure armed man vacate any schools they have occupied so that children can use them for their intended purpose -- studying.

The children, meanwhile, insisted that all they need is for peace to be restored in South Sudan. Then, they said in their poem, they will be able to go back to school and learn how to play their part in building a nation of peace and prosperity for all.

"We, as children, we want to live
In a peaceful South Sudan.
We want to go to school.
We will build South Sudan
To a new nation..."

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: gatwich from: juba
June 17, 2014 5:21 AM
what i know by my people in the new nation,peace shall never exists in south sudan if the current regime is not change.Because there are people in the regime. who does n't known that the government is for all south Sudanese .

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs