National, News

Simon; latest child to reunite with family

By Gladys Fred Kole


International children’s rights organization ‘Save the Children’ has reunited a record over 7,000 lost children with their families after being separated by conflict, nearly the last 7 years.

Thirteen-year-old Simon becomes the latest child to be reunited with his family this year after three months of separation from family members, Save the Children said in a press statement.

Since 2017, Save the Children and partners in South Sudan have reunited a record 7,000 children with their families, allowing them to restart their lives after being separated by conflict.

Simon and his family are from Khartoum in neighboring Sudan, where conflict broke out in mid-April this year.

The teenage boy was staying with his uncle when his neighborhood was attacked, and when he returned home, he found armed groups had taken over the area and neighbors had fled.

Scared for his life, Simon ran away alone and was identified at the South Sudan border by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which referred him to Save the Children.

Meanwhile, Simon’s elder brother Samuel also made his own journey from Khartoum to safety in South Sudan.

“When we heard that Simon had left our home in Khartoum and the message reached us, people were worried. Anything bad could have happened. Maybe he was kidnapped, shot, or anything, so for us as a family here, we were so very worried until we got the news that he reached Renk, and then he was received by some people, and they were taking care of him.” Samuel narrated his brother’s ordeal to save the children:

“We are very happy to see [our] brother (Simon), who has been lost, and, in the beginning, people never knew where he was. Seeing him, we are so honored, and we want to thank all the organizations that are taking care of kids who just fled the war,” Simon’s brother expressed.

Jib Pornpun Rabiltossaporn, Save the Children Country Director in South Sudan, said every time he hears a story like Simon’s, his heart lifts.

“Every day we hear more stories of how conflict tears away at children’s lives and tears them from their families”.

I could not be more proud of the work of our team in South Sudan, which has now reunited 7,000 children with their families after years of dedicated work” said Jib.

According to the Child Protection Information Management System Plus (CPIMS+) database, nearly 20,000 unaccompanied, separated, or missing children have been registered across South Sudan in the past nine years due to conflict within the country and from neighboring Sudan.

Separated and unaccompanied children are more susceptible to violence, abuse, and exploitation, which makes returning them to their parents an urgent priority.

The child rights organization and its partners have been reuniting children with families in the country for nine years, in large part thanks to a cutting-edge open-source software platform known as the Child Protection Information Management System Plus (CPIMS+).

Through the use of this (CPIMS+) software, which includes both a mobile app and offline capabilities, Save the Children staff members recently managed to reunite Simon, 13, with his adult brother Samuel after three months of separation from family members.

This Save the Children note brought the total number of child reunifications the organization has facilitated in South Sudan since 2017 to 7,000.

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