A Day in the Life of Joseph in Boroli Refugee Camp, Uganda
Joseph*, a 7-year-old South Sudanese refugee, now lives with his mother and two siblings in Boroli Refugee Camp, Uganda. He is one of over 400,000 refugees who have fled South Sudan, seeking refuge from the brutal conflict that has engulfed the world's youngest nation. Over 120,000 of these are currently residing in settlement camps, like Boroli, in neighbouring Uganda. New arrivals continue to cross the border daily, often arriving exhausted, nutritionally weak and in poor health.
Joseph attends one of Save the Children's child friendly spaces, which provides a safe environment for children to play and learn in the camp. He described his daily routine in the camp to a member of staff from Save the Children.
“It was very bad in South Sudan. We had to run because there was lots of fighting and people were being killed. I was very scared. Here it is a lot better. There is no fighting here. It is cold in the morning when we wake up, colder than it is back in South Sudan. Sometimes I don't want to get out of bed. I have to do my chores before I can go and play with my friends. First I have to dig our land so that our crops will grow. In a few months we will have our own food to eat and sell. Once I have finished digging I go and fetch water so that I can wash myself. The water is heavy but I am strong. Sometimes I practice the alphabet or my drawing outside. I use the straw from our house's roof because I don't have paper or pens. I go to the Child Friendly Space everyday and it's lots of fun. We play games and swing on the swings. I like it here a lot but I want to go back to my old village in South Sudan. I love my old village.”
Currently over 350 South Sudanese children attend Save the Children's Child Friendly Space in Boroli Camp, Uganda, where they are able to play, learn and receive the support they need to move on with their lives.This is one of five child friendly spaces run by Save the Children in refugee camps in Adjumani district in Northern Uganda.
It is estimated that, if the current trend continues, as many as 300,000 South Sudanese refugees could be sheltering in Uganda by the end of the year. Over 65% of the new arrivals are children and hundreds are arriving unaccompanied after being separated from their parents or caregivers during the fighting. In response Save the Children is helping to register separated and unaccompanied children and then reunify them with their family members. The child friendly spaces include Early Childhood Care and Development Centres within them, to provide refugee children in Uganda with a safe and nurturing environment in which they can play, learn and receive the support they need to move on with their lives.
* after a name indicates that the name has been changed to protect identity. This must be reflected in all usage.