– Feb 13, 2013
Here’s the thing about Malakal – there are no chickens. After you ask me ‘where’s Malakal?’, you might wonder why this is an issue.
Malakal is in Upper Nile State in South Sudan, the world’s newest country having separated from the North in 2011. The same year South Sudan gained independence, War Child Canada received funding for programming in the country and in late 2012 the work began. That’s when I went there. That’s when I noticed the chicken issue.
Chickens are a constant in most rural African settings, like Coke, Pringles and instant Nescafe, so the lack of them in Malakal had me curious. As we were having lunch one day with our local partner, the Upper Nile Youth Development Association, I asked about the issue.
“People have chickens when they feel settled,” they said “no one here feels settled. If you have to leave quickly you cannot take chickens.” As I asked around about it more I found out that there had been a large program that was giving out free chicks while teaching people how to raise and care for them. There were few takers. In Malakal 64% of the population are involved in keeping livestock so this lack of interest was more of a statement.
And there’s a valid reason to want to stay easily mobile. In the three years between 2009 - 2011 there were 460 recorded incidences of conflict in the country; 44% of which were cattle raiding (most involving arms), 25% were armed skirmishes, and 15% were inter-tribal fights. In 2011 the northern part of Upper Nile State was bombarded by the Sudan Armed Forces following clashes between SPLM-North with Khartoum government in Blue Nile State. Approximately 81,000 people were displaced. In this context, chickens won’t be making a quick comeback.
War Child’s work in Malakal focuses on creating opportunities for children and young people through education, as well as skills, vocational and leadership training. Underpinning all the work is the idea of conflict prevention – that through bringing together children of diverse ethnic and tribal backgrounds to share in common work and common goals, it is possible to end the cycle of violence. It is possible to create more stable communities in which childhood can thrive. And then the chickens will return.
From The Field,
Tags: south sudan, chickens, malakal, childhood, war, displacement,
We completely agree! We believe change can only occur if women and children know their rights. At the same time the individuals who are abusing their rights need to be provided with education and support as well so they can understand that what they are doing is wrong. However I think for them to change no one can do it for them , they have to want the change for themselves.
How does UNICEF advocate and fight for the rights of women and children? Do they have initiatives currently in place?
War Child’s website offers numerous ideas for fundraising and getting involved. Individuals can show their support by organizing a fundraising event. To do so you can register the event using their on-line registry and once the event is registered War Child provides all the needed forms, resources and information to support in the implementation process. The online registry provides individuals with the ability to track donations and send friends invitations. On the website they also have a PDF called the fundraising toolkit. Within this document they provide a bunch of fundraising event ideas from raffles, dance offs, talent shows, bake sales, Karaoke night, art exhibitions etc. One idea War Child provided that we personally really liked is called War Child Eats.What this means is we would invite family and friends over for dinner and would ask them to bring a donation rather than paying to go out to eat at a restaurant.
Check out page three and four on this PDF http://www.warchild.ca/images/...,
Out of the listed ideas which one would you
personally enjoy doing?
Thank you for your comment! We completely agree, before this assignment we previously didn’t think about world issues as much as we should have been. This blog has opened our
eyes and perspectives about the importance of advocacy. It’s so uplifting to hear and learn about what these amazing people are doing for people in the world who are in need. We often take for granted so many things in our lives and your
right we wake up and think about ourselves first. But once this blog is over,will we continue advocating? My hopes are that we will, for instance once school is over we would love to go to Students Crossing Boarders to do volunteer work.
Once this blog is over, what things do you want to do to continue advocating?
We completely agree with you, it is important for teachers and professionals working in the field to raise awareness and advocate for these children. It is likely that teachers could have at least one refugee in their classroom. it is crucial that we as educators ensure we are speaking about this issue and educating not on ourselves but the children as well. Thank you for this game! Have you played this with children before? If so how did it go?
I think that wherever in the world we find crime, war, poverty, and so much more tragic issues there will always be a negative impact on children- and as much as i hate to say this children will most likely always be used for child labor, child bride, pornography etc and therefore i think as educators within this field there should always be ongoing advocacy and volunteer help/workshops to stop this issue. i think other organizations should form some kind of a hub where they support each other into the well-being of children and families. i do like the idea of starting of shelters, just like an ordinary guy started to give a way shoes for every pair bought, but what more does it take to bring realization to the world and how much more effort can someone go and who is willing to put in that effort- advertisment and advocacy is only about talk- which is okay because it creates awareness but the inspiration brings about action- and everyday i personally ask my self "well its a new day, what are you going to do for yourself today and what will you do for the world" personally i know we are all busy with our lives but after our busy time is over will we all commit ourselves to doing more and how far are we willing to go and to do.
I think a good way to help refugees is to introduce what refugees are in the classroom! Teachers can raise awareness for the issues refugees face. Here is a game that teachers can use in the classroom to raise awareness! http://www.unhcr.org/46a07f8c4...
We think that this is great how War Child fight for women and child rights violation especially sexual violence. It is important to teach women and children about their rights, but we feel that it is also important to teach the abusers about women and childrens rights. We know that it maybe hard, but we think that this will not change if we do not correct the people that are doing wrong! What do you guys think?
Alexandra and Jen C.
It's great that you are advocating for Lets-give Dominican Republic, the poverty going on there must be devastating, but it is amazing that there is an organization to help support them and provide them with much need resources. We recently read the article you posted on your blog, it was shocking to hear about how girls are being told they can have a better life but are then enslaved as sex workers in neighbouring countries. It's very sad to know this is happening and we hope that with time this can be stopped. What initiatives is your organization doing to help these children, adolescents and women?
We think that this is a great way to actually get people there. Besides donating Aeroplan miles do War Child do any other fundraising? What other potential fundraising in your opinion would work?
Thank you for your comment! War Child UK and Holland along with Canada are making huge strides in providing safe places for child refugees. We hope that the end is near for the Syrian Crisis. What else do you think needs to be done to help refugees?