Joseph* digs on his family's small plot of land where they have planted maize. He lives in Boroli Camp, Uganda, where he attends Save the Children's child-friendly space. Photo Credit: Mark Kaye/Save the Children 2014.

Joseph* digs on his family's small plot of land where they have planted maize. He lives in Boroli Camp, Uganda, where he attends Save the Children's child-friendly space.

A Day in the Life of Joseph

Living in Boroli Refugee Camp, Uganda

Joseph*, a 7-year-old South Sudanese refugee, lives with his mother and two siblings in Boroli Refugee Camp, Uganda. They’re among the 1 million refugees who have been forced to flee their homes in South Sudan, seeking safety from the brutal conflict that has engulfed the world's youngest nation. Often arriving exhausted, weak and sick, 85% of the refugees are women and children.

Joseph* attends one of Save the Children's child-friendly spaces – a safe environment for children to play and learn in the camp. Here he shares his harrowing story and dreams of a future back in his homeland. 

“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 every day 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,” he told us, wistfully.

Thousands of South Sudanese children participate in child-friendly spaces in Uganda, where they are able to play, learn and receive the support they need to move on with their lives.

More than 65% of the new arrivals are children and hundreds are arriving on their own after being separated from their parents or caregivers during the fighting. Save the Children is helping to register separated and unaccompanied children and then reunify them with their family members. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Save the Children’s protection teams provide refugee children in Uganda with what they need to be healthy, educated and safe.

* Name has been changed for protection.

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