South Sudan Life

South Sudan is Africa's newest country having gained its' independence from Sudan in 2011. South Sudan has seen more than its' fair share of conflict and disasters. The longest civil war in Africa's history played out there until 2005. This devastated the country, killing 1.5 million people and leaving 4 million homeless.

South Sudan has among the highest infant-mortality rates and the lowest education indicators in the world. Children who were forced to serve as child soldiers and children orphaned by the war have severe emotional and psycho-social needs. School attendance rates are among the lowest globally, especially among girls. Most families go without basic health care. There is little access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, fostering the spread

Hundreds of thousands live in rudimentary shelters, without access to medical infrastructure, decent sanitation facilities and schooling. Due to inadequate hygiene and a lack of potable water, infectious diseases spread easily. Like in many other African states, the HIV prevalence rate in South Sudan is alarmingly high at 3.1 per cent.

Since South Sudan is a very young state, accurate orphan statistics do not yet exist. However, both Sudan and South Sudan taken together are home to around 2 million orphaned children. The vast majority of them have been orphaned as a result of extreme poverty, ethnic conflict and HIV/AIDS.

Education in south Sudan is not free. One year of secondary school costs approximately $50 CDN, this includes books and exam fees. Imagine earning 200 dollars a year and having to support a wife and several children. A family is simply not able to devote money to luxuries like education. Even females who finish elementary school are highly unlikely to attend high school. This is because of the cost and many get married and start families around the same time as they would be entering high school.