South Sudan

Stories from change-makers in South Sudan

Monica Mary Ayen
Sponsor Girl In South Sudan Monica
Monica is a 16-year-old girl in South Sudan.
Here’s the story of how she stayed hopeful during the time that her school was closed due to COVID-19, in her own words.

“I was depressed for two months following the closure of schools. I did not know what my future would look like. I would wake up and do the house chores and [study] using my books. But there came a time when I felt as though I had read every note in my books and felt bored just looking at them. That was the beginning of my frustration with education. Life was just hard. Hours took a long time to pass.

“I decided to ask my aunt for guidance. She was very supportive and took me through her life story and how she ended up where she is now. I found so much inspiration from her struggles ... I realized that this pandemic is a temporary obstacle which will go [away] someday.

“My peers were getting married or falling pregnant and not a month would pass without me hearing this. I stayed strong and resisted all temptations by listening to my aunt and keeping busy with housework and joining my aunt in farming. We spent the days weeding and sometimes gathering crops.

“Today, I am back in school. I feel so happy and as if I have pushed a great burden off my back.”
Read more about Plan’s COVID-19 response.
Sponsor Girl In South Sudan Mary
Photo credit: Kate Holt / Plan International
Mary didn’t go to school until she was 14 years old. Before then, her family couldn’t afford the tuition.
But that all changed when Plan International gave her father the seeds and tools he needed to start farming and generating an income. Read Mary’s story, in her own words.

“Before we got help, we were only eating things we could find in the forest. We sometimes didn’t eat and when we did, we only ate once a day. We were eating wild fruits and vegetables. Mangoes from the trees, things like this — tamarind and other fruits.

“But things are better now, and we eat twice a day: morning and evening. ... Since my father started farming, we have been able to eat every day. When we had no food, we felt hungry and grew thin. … I don’t worry about this happening again.

“If my father is working in the garden, then there is no worry. My family has more financial security now, so there is no danger of me being married early. … One of my friends is married. She is 17 years old and has never been to school. She has three children now. She should have gone to school. School is important, because if you go to school, you will be able to have a successful life.”
Read more about Plan’s education work.
Ayen is a young woman in South Sudan, Africa
Ayen is a young woman in South Sudan. Here’s how she describes her life right now, and how she’s feeling about the future, in her own words.
“The coronavirus disease has put a lot into my mind. I will remember 2020 as one of the worst years in my entire life because a lot could not happen, when I had all the energy to do so much more!

“If I survive the COVID-19 pandemic without falling pregnant or losing hope, it is due to two things: First of all, I am a leader in my school and secondly, I’m a member of Plan International’s Champions of Change project. So, if I need to do anything, I made sure to recall that first.

“To me, marriage or settling down with a man is not even in my near thoughts, let alone at this time. I have seen the kind of suffering people go through nowadays. My friends who dropped out of school to get married are finding it difficult to even find anything to eat.

“So, really, I feel determined to achieve better things to enable myself to get through the hardship. I am strong and urge every other girl to forget about everything else and concentrate on their books.”
Meet another young woman from South Sudan.

Plan International has been working to improve children’s lives in South Sudan since 2006.

Our work in South Sudan

See Plan's work in South Sudan
Office & operations

Plan South Sudan’s country office is located in Juba, and we work in the states of Central and Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei and Lakes.

Technical areas

Education, humanitarian response, protection, skills & work

Number of sponsored children

As of June 30, 2020, people like you sponsor 5,630 children in South Sudan through Plan International.

Why sponsor with Plan?

Gender equality is a fight we must all take on together. Through sponsorship, you can change lives and create long-term impact in communities.

The full circle of Fate

When you sponsor a child through Plan, you form an incredible friendship.

Sunny Days Magazine A sponsor and her sponsored girl hugging and smiling Child using a viewfinder and smiling

But that’s just the beginning. With Plan, you also have the unique opportunity to:

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Send them birthday gifts and cards.

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Give them special holiday presents called Little Treasures.

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Subscribe them to Plan’s educational kids’ magazine, Sunny Days.

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— Visit them (pending any travel restrictions), with individual travel assistance from us.

Each gift offering is safely hand-delivered by us, and given to your child with personalized cards from you. It’s likely that the child you sponsor will have never seen anything like these gifts, and with the exception of Little Treasures they’re available year-round to make the bond between you and your sponsored child even stronger.

Meet a child to sponsor