By Taban Henry
The Embassy of European Union in Juba has on Monday donated food items to the Juba Orphanage center. Among the assorted food include; 20 bags of maize floor, 20 bags of 50kg of rice 10bags of 50kg beans 5bags of sugar 2 jerry canes of cooking oil 2 sacks of onion and 4 cartons of salt.
Speaking during the event, the Director of Juba orphanage Center, Angelo Kenyi said that it happens to be a good time for the center to receive some support; citing that the center started since the 17/11/1962 because of the small kids whose parents have died.
The center currently accommodates 65 orphans of which 40 are boys and 25 are girls, with 32 staffs working in the center. He said that all the staffs work in three shifts, that is morning, evening and night shift, saying that the purpose is that their small children that needed to be catered for at night.
Kenyi mentioned some of the challenges faced in the center, both in education, medication and feeding. He said that they only get their support from the friends visiting the center.
“Regarding our situation in the center, we do not have any organization supporting the center but only the Juba orphanage friendship is the one helping in supporting with scholastic materials and the government is also supporting the center but their support is limited,” he said.
“We are facing a lot of challenges in education in-terms of school fees, exercise books, shoes and feeding is also a problem, we only depend on the friends visiting and offering their supports to us. We do not have medicines especially when the children are sick majorly during the rainy season once they are taken to the hospital the doctor will prescribe the drugs and they do not have the medicine we have to go to the pharmacy which needs money of which we do not have,” he added.
In addition, Kenyi said that the issue of electricity and fund for constructing a pre-school which they have started constructing to small children are another problem the center face.
He therefore appealed to the good friends and well-wishers to help in building dining and the completion of the class room for the pre-school.
Meanwhile the Director for Social welfare in the Ministry of Gender Child and Social Welfare, Omer Sherif Aldeen said that Juba Orphanage Center belongs to the government of Central Equatoria State, adding that the center has a lot of challenges and need to be solved one by one.
“In the actual sense the responsibility of the center is for the government but we have not managed to do enough for the orphanage. We have 18 orphanage centers within Juba; others belong to the organization and other churches but still under the directorate of Social Welfare who are responsible of them. Those other orphanage centers have organizations supporting them but Juba orphanage center rely on the government,” he said.
Sherif mentioned that the government is unable to pay the salaries of the civil servants that is why they are unable to avail support to the orphanage center because they have no money.
He stated that the security of children is very important because most of them are brought in different circumstances others got lost from their families, some both parents died.
“The questioned is this for how long will these children continue to stay at the orphanage centers. They are staying because of the staff taking care of them and we continue to monitor any child doing well at school and we have seen the family is now good we shall reunite him with the family by the age of 18yrs and for those whose families are not totally we do adaption to those good families and for that matter the fence is a good option,” he said.
For his part, the European Union Ambassador to South Sudan Christian Bader said that they have listened to the issues facing the orphanage center including issues of health, security, clothing, food and medication.
Thus, the Ambassador stated that they will be able to take care off. “I am saying we are giving billions of money like one thousand million to this country and the people cannot tell me what we have done. Buying a machine and constructing the fence is not an issue is because it’s open and the children can be stolen this is worrying, today we are bringing to you something small and this are just food items to get along and hope for more during the Christ-mass,” Christian said.