South Sudan became the world’s newest nation on 9 July 2011.
Twelve months later, we celebrate the achievements of the people and churches of South Sudan and of Caritas South Sudan and its Caritas partners in working towards peace and development.
The challenge has been huge. South Sudan has started life as one of the world’s poorest countries. A third of children do not see their fifth birthday, half the population lives in extreme poverty, only a third of people are literate.
Millions of people were forced from their homes and now have started to return. They must build their nation from scratch.
The road has not been an easy one. Conflict in the Nuba Mountains and Abyei has spiralled into serious humanitarian emergencies. Clashes between Sudan and South Sudan or with rebel fighters have taken lives and wreaked havoc on infrastructure like water systems, as well as education.
Caritas has worked in partnership with the local Catholic church to provide people with water, food, shelter, health and education. It has continued its long running peacebuilding campaign with radio broadcasts and practical courses to help people gain the skills they need for jobs, not fighting.