Tahani*, a widow, holding her 3-year-old son Chuol*. Her two daughters – ages 9 and 12 – stand behind her at their temporary home in Akobo, South Sudan. Photo credit: Jonathan Hyams/Save the Children 2015.

Tahani*, a widow, holding her 3-year-old son Chuol*. Her two daughters – ages 9 and 12 – stand behind her at their temporary home in Akobo, South Sudan.

Motherhood In Crisis

A Widow Takes her Three Young Children to a South Sudan Refugee Camp where Save the Children Helped Provide the Care They Needed.

Tahani* came to us from a conflict-ravaged, rundown village in South Sudan. After her husband died and the violence around her threatened their very lives, she took her young son and two daughters and fled the place she once called home. They walked more than 100 miles to safety at a refugee camp in Akobo, near the Ethiopia border.

Although Tahani and her little ones are now safe from the fighting in the surrounding cities, children in the refugee camp are still at risk of serious diseases and life-threatening malnutrition. Chuol*, Tahani's three year old son, is just one of the 2.5 million children in the South Sudan who struggles to get even the most basic food and nutrition they need to survive. In a country where 10% of children die before they reach their 5th birthday and a third of children are underweight, the situation is critical.

Before she came to the refugee camp, Tahani was forced to scavenge for food. Like many mothers, she would do whatever she could to provide for her family, feeding them leaves off the dry dessert shrubs. But the leaves – little more than tumbleweeds - are not enough to feed everyone and often make the children sick.

Save the Children has been fighting malnutrition in South Sudan since the young country gained independence four years ago. Last year, nearly 115,000 children received nutritious food and supplements needed for survival. What’s more, Save the Children set up five emergency feeding clinics in Akobo where mothers like Tahani can get clean water, supplies, high-nutrient peanut paste and other food supplements needed to battle severe malnutrition. Along with keeping children in South Sudan healthy and thriving, we’re working to give them an opportunity to learn at our Child Friendly Spaces and temporary schools. Tahani’s two older daughters, Nyagoa*, 9, and Nyanthor*, 12, are continuing their education, and receiving the mental and emotional support they desperately need.

Tahani and other mothers just like her need your help. Please support our South Sudan relief efforts and help stop children’s suffering and starvation.

*Names have been changed for protection.

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