Children suffering from ongoing violence and poverty are urging political leaders to restore peace in the South Sudanese town of Yei.

The situation in Yei region is dire. Food is scarce. People cannot tend to their crops outside the town because of ongoing insecurity, including murder, abduction, rape, and looting. 70% of the population fled the town last year amidst fierce fighting.

Yei is largely a ghost town, However, some children remain in the town, including a number of orphans who have sought sanctuary at the local Catholic school, Christ the King Primary School.

Relief web’s FRANCESCA MOLD visited the town and published this:

South Sudan children
South Sudan children

Student Esther Quintin said that her parents were killed when she was young and she is now living with her uncle and his family who are unable to provide her with the financial support she needs to survive.

“I don’t have parents. My friends are all dead. I don’t have anyone to support me in my education. I don’t have anything to eat or the money to support myself in education,” she said.

The school has managed to stay open throughout the crisis thanks to the commitment of 14 teachers who have remained to volunteer their time, helping the children learn and giving them a sense of security.

Christ the King Primary School Head Teacher, Taban Emmanuel Elisa, said many of the children were severely traumatized by the violence they were witnessing or being subjected to so it was important that the school to remain open to provide them with support and a sense of routine.

“We can’t surrender. That is one of our mottos at the school,” he said. “Even if problems are like that, education must continue so the generation to come should not face the challenges that we are in.”

Students who have lost their parents say that education is all they have left. For them, it is a chance for a way out and a way forward to a brighter future

South Sudan children
South Sudan children