南蘇丹危機:聯合國兒童基金會、救助兒童會及合作伙伴成功幫助5,000名兒童與家人團聚

 

南蘇丹危機:聯合國兒童基金會、救助兒童會及合作伙伴成功幫助5,000名兒童與家人團聚

Girls sit on the ground after school at the Upper Nile primary school in the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Bentiu, South Sudan, Monday 1 May 2017.

As of May 2017, the United Nations’ protection of civilians (PoC) site in Bentiu, Unity State, is home to more than 120,000 internally displaced South Sudanese. Surrounded by war and famine, children and their families are seeking safety in the PoC from armed groups involved in the ongoing conflict across the country. The displaced are forced to live in overcrowded conditions and are reliant on international aid organisations for the basics like food and sanitation. 

Around 60 per cent of those displaced are under 18 years of age and it is estimated that more than 33,000 children are attending UNICEF supported schools in the PoC. Schools such as Upper Nile School cater for the huge youth population, but classes are overcrowded. With upwards of 70 children per classroom and educational resources scarce, UNICEF and its partners are working to improve access to education through the provision of basic education supplies, as well as training and allowances for volunteer teachers.

For those attending classes at the Upper Nile School, classes offer some respite from the ongoing war. Insecurity, ongoing displacement and attacks on schools mean that nearly three quarters of the country’s children are out of school — the highest proportion of out-of-school children in the world. 

Education is central to the humanitarian response for those living in PoCs across South Sudan. Many have witnessed unspeakable horrors and suffer the trauma associated with war. Education is one ray of light shining through the cracks of their young country.

© UNICEF/UN068330/Hatcher-Moore

2017年5月1日(星期一),三名就讀於南蘇丹本提烏市平民保護區上尼羅小學的女童放學後坐在地上。

朱巴/香港,20171018─自2013年南蘇丹爆發衝突,聯合國兒童基金會(UNICEF)、救助兒童會及合作伙伴已成功幫助超過5,000名兒童與家人團聚。

第5,000名與家人團聚的17歲青年已與母親失散近4年,他從西赤道州的湯姆布拉(Tombura)逃往西加紮勒河州的瓦烏(Wau)尋求庇護。

UNICEF駐南蘇丹代表Mahimbo Mdoe說:「讓兒童與家人團聚是保護兒童的最好方法,所以為孤單無依的兒童尋找家人並幫助他們團聚十分重要。家人能提供安全感、保護、支持,在衝突期間尤其重要。」

兒童與家人失散的時間越長,越難尋找他們的下落,並容易遭暴力侵害、經濟和性剝削、虐待、拐賣。

救助兒童會駐南蘇丹總監Deirdre Keogh表示:「『尋找家人和家庭團聚計劃』是針對南蘇丹的緊急措施中最有效保護兒童的方法之一,協助南蘇丹家庭團聚的機構之間擁有強而有力的協調和合作,令計劃得以成功。」

總共有16,055名孤單無依兒童參與家庭團聚計劃。

計劃亦繼續幫助超過1萬名與家人或照料者失散的兒童,讓他們也能與家人團聚。

南蘇丹很多地方都沒有基礎設施和通訊網絡,令幫助失散兒童與家人團聚的工作變得極具挑戰性。工作人員有時需花幾小時前往某一地方為失散兒童尋找家人。

家庭失散是導致流離失所者和其他受影響人口產生心理壓力的最主要因素。

17歲青年與母親團聚後說:「我很感激拯救我的人。我想上學,將來有一天幫助與我有相同痛苦經歷的兒童。」

男童的母親埃琳娜說:「我吃飯時總在想兒子吃甚麼呢,我吃飯只為活下去,但從來沒有享受過每一餐,我經常在思考他的下落,一直很難過,難以忘懷,即使他死了,我都沒有親眼看見並親手埋葬他。」

上個月,UNICEF和救助兒童會及合作伙伴成功找出399名無人陪伴兒童並支援他們。

UNICEF的「尋找家人和家庭團聚計劃」獲得歐盟委員會人道主義援助和公民保護機構、美國國際開發署、英國國際發展部、慈善組織「全球社區」和聯合國兒童基金法國委員會大力支持。