Child marriage is very common in South Sudan with around half of all South-Sudanese girls aged 15 to 19 being married off, many forced into wedlock at as young as 12 years old. These high rates of child marriage have profound consequences on girls’ health. Indeed, the country’s maternal and child mortality rates are among the highest in the world: 1 in 7 women dies as a result of pregnancy or childbirth-related complications.
More than half of South Sudan's population lives below the national poverty line. In these poor families, daughters are often considered a source of income, owing to their “bride price” obtained through the practice of child marriage. In addition, a dire lack of teachers and adequate schooling infrastructure leave girls with few opportunities to pursue education and find qualified employment: only 37% of individuals over the age of 6 have ever been to school and classes count on average 129 students.
In the surroundings of Omilling village, near South Sudan’s border with Uganda, many children are war orphans. Resolute to pursue an education, these children are currently making do with a temporary school that consists of a two-room shack made of twigs. There are no textbooks and no latrines, and some children trek up to eight hours a day through the bush to attend classes, putting them at risk of violence.
The solution we’re proposing:
W4’s field project Hope Ofiriha is in the process of building a proper elementary school, with soil blocks and thatched roofs and equipped with 8 classrooms, 2 toilet blocks, and a library. The Mairo Primary School will provide Omilling’s children with free education–and protection from child marriage.
Your donation purchases crucial building materials, teaching resources, and/or school uniforms and school supplies.
Help young girls in South Sudan seize their right to a proper education, escape the prospect of child marriage, and pursue safer, healthier, and brighter futures!