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The unpredictable future of 400 children who lost their parents to fire

By Mandela Nelson Denis

The future of over 400 children between the ages of five to fifteen years in Mambe County in Maridi State still remains unpredictable after the fuel tanker’s abrupt blast.

The 400 children lost their parents and guardians to the fuel tanker accident that occurred in Mambe in 2016.

The children whose educational future depended on their parents for scholastic materials such as books, pens and bags are now left wandering.

It is believed that some parents burnt to ashes during the accident and some who survived with injuries lost their lives shortly after the tragedy.

A mass grave was dug for the bodies of the fire accident to be buried according to Pastor Zackaria Bajo.

Pastor Bajo in his pastoral duties managed to interact with some of the children who lost their parents and he said that doubled with the 2016 war that broke out in the country, the suffering of the children too doubled.

According to Pastor Bajo, majority of the children became heads of families at a tender age after being left with no one to turn to.

Some people who would have extended their hands of support to the children have fled Mambe County when the war broke out according to Bajo.

Mambe County, the once busy center with a lot of economic activities, is now a dry place only inhabited by economically unstable people.

South Sudanese used to be caring and concerned people towards the suffering of a fellow but since the crisis hit the country, the slogan has changed “one man for himself and God for us all”.

Majority of the people would wish to help but from the narration of Bajo to Juba Monitor, it seems everyone in the county are in dire need of support.

The people of Mambe County would feel like no one cares for them because Daniel Balash the Commissioner of Mambe revealed to Boja that since he was appointed a Commissioner, no support has reached his people.

Boja said that Daniel told him that there is no presence of any Non-governmental organization in Mambe to support the people.

For the 400 children, some would like to go back to school but lack support to enable them achieve their dreams.

Many of this children are forced to look for casual work in the center but cannot find any because of the less economic and social activities happening in Mambe.

If the only borehole in Mambe continues to produce dirty and smelling water, it means the health of the 400 children and the entire population of Mambe are at risk of health problems.

Some of the children due to improper parental guidance are being exposed to sexual activities at a tender age and Boja said that some of the girls are getting pregnant prematurely.

The children have the urge to go to school but what is diminishing their hope and faith is the lack of support.

Some educational programs such as girls’ education support (GES) are missing in Mambe County.

If there is no Non-Governmental Organization presence in Mambe County, it would also mean that United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and Save the Children Organization support are not reaching out to this impoverished side of the country.

Boja told Juba Monitor that Mambe’s Commissioner Daniel Balah tried to support five children but due to financial constraints he could not continue.

The Minister of General Education and Instruction under the leadership of Deng Hoc is working hard to ensure that every child in South Sudan gets educated and the future of the 400 children will shine if education reaches them.

Some of these children would like to become doctors, teachers, lawyers, Ministers, Nurses, and Journalists but unless the education reaches them, these professions will just be dreams.

It is still our role as South Sudanese to extend a hand to these 400 children in Mambe County to ensure they are supported in a way that they can realize their full potential.

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