Increased safety has been ensured by round-the-clock guards at the SOS Children’s Village. With two policemen day and night guarding the Village, the return of the 103 children and SOS staff was a happy occasion.
The two families whose houses were badly damage will stay in the administrative building while their homes are repaired. As all construction materials needed for the Village are sent from Khartoum, renovation will take some time, and will not be helped by the forthcoming rainy season which lasts from March to May, making transportation by road very difficult.
The return of the children coincides with the new start of the school year on 15 April. All the children are getting ready for their first day of school and are enjoying the last moments of free time playing inside the Village.
The situation is still very fragile in South Sudan, with heightened insecurity conditions in the western part of Upper Nile. As South Sudan prepares to form a new nation, the situation of the many who are displaced is a major concern.
About 80,000 people fled violence in the region of Upper Nile between January and March; some 34,000 southern Sudanese have also fled their homes after tribal clashes over land, water and cattle in the last few weeks. Adding to the southern troubles before independence in July are the 264,000 returnees who have flocked to the south since October (UN Sources).
According to the National Council for Child Welfare in northern Sudan, there are 2,000 children currently without parental care in the country.
At present there are two SOS Children's Villages in Sudan, one SOS Youth Home, one SOS Nursery, one SOS School and one SOS Vocational Training Centre.
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