SOS Children in Sudan
Our charity has been operating in Sudan since the 1970s, beginning our work in the capital city, Khartoum. Five decades of conflict have had a terrible effect on the lives of the Sudanese people.
We help orphaned and vulnerable children in Sudan find a loving home and family in one of our SOS Children’s Villages. We help poor children stay with their families, and after disasters, run emergency relief programmes to help children and families survive.
With SOS Children, you can help orphaned and abandoned children in Sudan by sponsoring a child:
Many future challenges facing Sudanese society
Years of conflict and frequent natural disasters have kept Sudan as one of the least developed countries in the world. More than 43% of the population have no access to clean drinking water and over 66% have no access to sanitation facilities. Sudan lost 75% of its oil reserves when South Sudan gained its independence in July 2011. Many people remain below the poverty line and are largely dependent on food aid.
Children in Sudan
- Infant mortality rates are high in areas including Darfur, South Kordofan and the Blue Nile State. Here, children are less likely to finish their education. In Darfur and Kordofan, less than 5% finish school, compared to 50% in the richer north.
- It is estimated around 3.5 million children live without parental care and child labour is widespread. Many work in factories, farms or in informal sectors such as car washing and street vending. Child-trafficking and child soldier recruitment remain problems.
- Girls are particularly disadvantaged as they are less likely to attend school and forced marriage at a young age is a possibility.
Our charity work in Sudan
Despite the signing of a peace deal in 2005, the conflict, unrest and suffering in Sudan continues. SOS Children has been active in Sudan since 1978 and continues to support refugees, child soldiers and families affected by the conflict.
We began working in Sudan 1978 when the first SOS Children's Village and SOS Nursery were built on land donated by the Sudanese government on the outskirts of the capital Khartoum. The Village has 15 family homes for 140 orphaned and abandoned children and two SOS Youth Homes, one for girls (on-site) and one for boys, which is located just down the road. In 1982 an SOS School (primary and secondary), which is also open to children from the neighbourhood, was built in Suba, about twenty minutes walk from the Village. There are 24 classrooms at the school (12 for girls and 12 for boys) and a playground and sports area. Eight new classrooms were added to the school in 1995. A farm on the banks of the Nile, not far from Suba, provides vocational training for SOS youths as well as food for the Village, with the surplus being sold locally. As well as learning how to cultivate fruit and vegetables, the youths learn how to rear poultry and cattle.
As part of the International Year of the Family in 1995, SOS Children constructed an artesian well in the El Salama district of Khartoum which supplies fresh water to about 25,000 people in the area.
Emergency Relief in Sudan
Currently, SOS Children runs two Family Centres in Darfur, which support families displaced by the ongoing conflict in this region. Thousands of families in the Abu Shok Refugee Camp, in Al-Fashir, Darfur, have been receiving assistance from two centres since early 2005.
In 2005, 15 protected huts were also built for single women and abandoned children in the camp, where they can spend the day in a safe area. One more centre is directed towards single mothers with their children and is a place where they receive training in handicrafts or are provided with work.
Psychological and psychiatric support was provided to those who witnessed traumatic events until the end of 2009.
Heavy rains and floods severely affected various regions in September 1999. As a result, an SOS Emergency Relief Programme was implemented in Umbada, 10 miles west of Khartoum, rebuilding 40 family houses, re-establishing drinking water connections and renovating the local primary school.
In Umbada, diverse ethnic groups and religions coexist, many single women with children live alone and education and training possibilities are practically non-existent. In response to this situation, an SOS educational complex was built in 2003, consisting of a primary school, a social centre and a vocational training centre.
In September 2004, SOS Children started to operate a Family Strengthening Programme in Umbada, which increases the capability of vulnerable families to care for their children, thus preventing child abandonment or family collapse. To achieve this, the charity works directly with families and communities to empower them to effectively protect and care for their children, in cooperation with local authorities and other service providers.
Children and young people from Sudan have put together films about their country. Visit Our Africa, a resource for people young and old who want to learn about Africa from an African perspective.
Child Soldiers in Sudan
"Thousands of child soldiers are now running in South Sudan anxious for their future - (wishing) to trade their guns for games, their bombs for books and their hurt for hope" says Mr Ali Mahdi, National Director of SOS Children's Villages Sudan.
During the civil war, young children were snatched from their families at the height of the fighting and used as soldiers. Today, many have been dismissed from duty, and even though the killing is over, the impact of war remains fresh in their minds. They are lost, scared and cannot find their parents. SOS Children set up an Emergency Relief programme to support these child soldiers, many of whom are now young adults, and give them back their lives and their families.
To begin with, the children are reintroduced to everyday life. SOS Children provide them with shelter, food, clean clothes and an education. Many children have never been to school and without an education will never break out of poverty. SOS Children help them overcome the trauma of war through drawing, drama classes and counselling, being able to express their feelings eases their pain. To help them develop teamwork skills and make friends, they have helped to build the houses they live in while on the programme.
Some children have already been reunited with their family members and others are being supported to be reintegrated into their home communities.
The young people - mostly boys, but some girls - are now undertaking vocational courses including car mechanics, carpentry, electrics, plumbing, construction and sewing at the SOS training centre, or have been enrolled at school. One of the older former child soldiers has just entered university.
With support from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), SOS Children have been able to reunite families with a very high success rate; over 90% in certain years.
SOS Children's Villages Association of Sudan
Gomhoria St., P.O.Box 1988