By Mamer Abraham
The Executive Director of Nile Orphan Care, John Deng Ater has urged the government to help in eradicating forced marriage within Nile Orphan Care and the country at large.
Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday at new site for the orphanage in Juba Two, Ater cited forced marriage, gender-based violence and domestic violence as great setbacks to the country and should be dealt with.
He revealed that there were cases of forced marriage at Nile Orphan Care which involved some orphans they were taking care of which should not be tolerated anymore.
“South Sudan is a country in which people find resources in different ways like marriages. A few cases happened in Nile Orphan Care about girls who were really orphans but after all we found out that there were people who could claim them and took them through forced marriage,” he said.
He warned against dangers of forced marriage which included destroying the future of children not only in Nile Orphan Care but also everywhere in South Sudan. He added that they had established some measures to deter such practices from happening again through reporting such cases to the government or the police.
“When we recruit these children, we know very well these children are orphans and we are their parents, if someone comes for them, we shall report this to the government and to the police.”
He called upon the government to take radical measures against forced marriage and be ready to step in once such cases are reported to them. He said that they could be an eye for the government to find out things the government could not easily find out which happen within the community.
William Deng Joseph, the Headteacher of the primary school at Nile Orphan Care confirmed that the three orphans who were married off were at first known to be having no relatives around to take care of them.He said that when they tried to follow up the case, it was causing much conflict and would sabotage the project of taking care of the rest of the children so they did not report the case.