History of the Juba Orphanage
Founded in November 1962 during the first civil war in Sudan, the Juba Orphanage was established by the Chief Executive Director Osman Jada Rag.
Managed by the Ministry of Social Development, the goal of the facility was to take in children who have been separated from their family during the war, with the hopes of reuniting children with their families at a later date. Today there are over 70 children and youth living in the home, ranging in age from just three weeks old, to young adults of 20 years old.
The Juba Orphanage is one of the only government run orphanages in South Sudan housing children of many tribes, from nearly all 10 states.
Though many of the children have been living in the orphanage most of their lives due to separation from their families during the war, the Juba Orphanage also supports many children who are orphaned after tragic family events.
What’s happening in South Sudan right now?
The current crisis in South Sudan began on 16 December 2013, when fighting broke out between government and rebel forces in Juba. What started as a political battle for power between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar has become a civil war in which innocent civilians are suffering. The two sides signed a ceasefire in January as the first step towards resolving the conflict, but progress is slow and fighting continues to rage across the country. More than a million people have fled their homes and thousands have died.
The Juba Orphanage has been affected by the fighting as well. During the height of the December 2013 emergency in Juba, staff were unable to come to the orphanage and the children had no support or supervision. The number of children staying at the orphanage has reduced, school fees have increased and the Ministry is referring less children. In the past, it was a primary goal of the Ministry to ensure children under the age of two were placed with a foster family instead of in the facility, but now for the first time in years the orphanage is home to a baby as young as three weeks.
Today, the children are again troubled by the latest outbreak of fighting that began around Independence Day, 11 July 2016. The Friends and staff of Juba Orphanage are seek counselling and other support services for the children.
Who are the Friends of the Juba Orphanage?
Friends of Juba Orphanage is a group of volunteers who began supporting the orphanage in 2006. Many of us supporting the orphanage in different ways have come together and tried to coordinate our well-intentioned efforts. Whilst some have now left Juba, they continue to support the Juba Orphanage from afar.
Friends of the Juba Orphanage believe that to make the most out of the help that people want to give to the kids, it is important to coordinate our efforts, including coordinating volunteers’ work, creating policies to improve accountability, use of information and photos of children, and regulation of scheduled and supervised visits.
We are pleased that there are several fundraising activities in support of the Juba Orphanage taking place and will gladly coordinate with other fundraisers whenever possible, as well as share the best practice which has been put in place to ensure high standards to protect the dignity and welfare of the children we support.
This website was set up to reach out to donors and supporters around the world, and to acknowledge the individuals and companies who support the Friends of Juba Orphanage.
All photos and information on the website is approved by the Juba Orphanage Director, Abdul Wajo.