Save the Children in South Sudan will today become part of Save the Children International at a go-live celebration held in the capital city of Juba of the world's newest country, the Republic of South Sudan.
On 1 February 2013 responsibility for managing the Save the Children in South Sudan programme transitions to Save the Children International, the global programming arm of the Save the Children family. This marks the end of a long process which began with the bringing together of the four Save the Children members working in South Sudan into a unified presence in 2009 and finally to Save the Children International in 2013.
By becoming part of Save the Children International, there will be better coordination and resource sharing between the programme in South Sudan and Save the Children's global programmes. The aim is that this will lead to stronger and more consistent programming, enhancing the organisation's ability to deliver quality programmes for children in South Sudan.
"Today is a very special day for Save the Children in South Sudan, as today we transition to Save the Children International marking the beginning of a new chapter for the organisation," said John Distefano, Country Director, Save the Children South Sudan. "In very few countries are the needs of children so vast and complex as they are in South Sudan. This is why we are looking to strengthen our programmes, focusing on the sectors and regions where there is most need and where our expertise can have the greatest impact for children and their families."
"Education is the bedrock on which the future of this country will be built, but currently just 10% of children and only 6% of girls finish primary school," said John. . "This is why education is at the heart of what we will be delivering over the next few yearsensuring children have access to primary education, providing accelerated learning programmes for those older students who did not have the opportunity to complete school when they were younger, and giving a vital education to remote pastoralist communities and children living in refugee camps."
Children in South Sudan are facing some of the greatest barriers to survival and development in the world today; periodic violence, the legacy of the past long-term conflicts, limited access to basic services, and a harsh natural environment of droughts, floods and epidemics all interweave to form a network of enduring hazard for children and their families.
Save the Children in South Sudan implements programmes in eight out of the ten states of South Sudan, covering education, health and nutrition, food security and livelihoods, child protection and child rights governance projects.
In 2012 Save the Children provided more than 145,693 children with access education. In addition, over 202,000 children were given access to healthcare and 65,000 children were given nutrition support in areas with food shortages, while 82,500 children were supported in our emergency response programmes in Unity and Upper Nile states.