And make it possible for children to stay with their families and stay safe from abuse and exploitation, to foster their growth, and to guarantee their access to education…

Baranaka is a 15-year-old South Sudanese girl who fled with her family from the eastern Nile because of war.

Along with many thousands of displaced persons, Baranaka lives in
Maban refugee camp in the east of South Sudan. Every day, she attends a Temporary Learning Space that Entreculturas and JRS opened last year to provide internally displaced people with access to education. As Baranaka tells us: “Nobody can take what you learn away from you. It’s yours forever.”

“When the fighting began the soldiers destroyed everything. Our elderly couldn’t escape and they killed them. I managed to escape with my uncle. We ran for several days until we reached this place.”

“I don’t want to go back home. There’s no peace. There’s nothing to eat in this place but I don’t want to go back home anymore.”

Since 2013, there have been several attempts at peace, but despite these, violence between the army and different armed groups has continued to escalate. Now, the local population is trapped between two wars: one in Sudan, their country of origin, and the other in South Sudan, their host country.

Thousands have lost their lives, around 1.6 million people have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, 1.89 million people are internally displaced, and around 5.8 million people need humanitarian aid.

Angela Wells / JRS

The consequences of the crisis for children are grave: they lack teachers, school materials, an educational infrastructure, and institutional support for schools from the Ministry of Education.

Access to education has become a great challenge, especially for girls. In fact, most of those who go to school only manage to complete the first years of primary education, and only a few reach secondary education. In South Sudan, 65% of the young population who are illiterate are women.

Together with Entreculturas, we have been supporting refugees and the local community since 2013, providing psycho-social support, necessary food and non-food items, and emergency education.

Our activities focus mainly on women, as they suffer disproportionally from violence and abuse. Through our work, we protect them by offering emotional, physical, and psychological attention so that they can reach their full potential and have access to a better future.

Together with Entreculturas, we accompany more than 14,500 refugee children in Lebanon, Chad, South Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

For refugees, school is a safe environment that promotes their learning and protects them from abuse and violence.

Angela Wells / JRS