08/08/2015
lisa monaghan

Save the Children (2015). Hear It From the Children

Over 800,000 children have been internally displaced within South Sudan since the on-going political crisis began on 15 December 2013. This study seeks to understand how this statistic translates into individual childhoods, and where children place their priorities. To this end, Save the Children, INTERSOS, World Vision International and CARE consulted 367 children and adults in crisis-affected areas throughout South Sudan. Their message was crystal clear: ‘We want to learn – even during war.’

Education is therefore a top priority for conflict-affected children in South Sudan. Parents, teachers and the wider community stress its importance and support its provision. If humanitarian interventions are to remain accountable to the communities they serve, such pri- orities must be taken into account. By articulating the benefits of education in emergencies in the words of children and their communities, this study invites the government, donors, and humanitarian agencies to re- evaluate their priorities and recognize children’s demand for education must be more adequately supported as an essential and lifesaving aspect of emergency humanitarian interventions.

Key Findings

Conflict affected communities view education as a fundamental right. When asked to rank the importance of various social services such as health, water, shelter, education, food and play, 28% of children and 25% of community members respectively ranked education as their top priority.

It was evident that community members took proactive steps to provide education – with some helping to construct temporary learning spaces (TLS) and lending their support through Parent Teacher Associations (PTA).

A father in Awerial County captured the burning need for education in emergencies very well when he said, “... we beg you to let the school progress well. The only thing that we prioritise here is the school. We will support you if you bring this.”

Category: Conflict

Sub-category: Children, Community, Displacement and Protection of Civilian Sites