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Published on 9 December 2021

South Sudan has some of the highest malnutrition rates in Sub-Saharan Africa*. Since July 2018, we have taken a holistic approach to tackling malnutrition in Aweil North and Jur River regions where few other agencies work.

Through our UK Aid Match programme, we aimed to improve both the awareness of and access to basic nutrition. Three years on we have reached 67,455 women and girls of childbearing age, and 37,265 children under five.

The project focused on the community working together to come up with solutions to tackle malnutrition so that the impact will continue even after the project ends.

We celebrate the successes and sustainability of the programme through their pictures and stories. 

Find out more about UK Aid Match

The tea maker

Elizabeth serves tea to her customers in her new tea shop in South Sudan
Elizabeth preparing tea for her customers (Christian Aid/Silvano Yokwe)

Elizabeth Aweck Cham, 28, boils the kettle in her new tea shop to make tea for her customers in Jur River County. Through her interaction with her local village savings and loans association (VSLA) she has saved to open this new business. Previously she admits that she did not have the skills or knowledge on how to run a tea shop, but with support from our local partner, Hope Agency for Relief and Development (HARD), she is now an active member of the VSLA and has gained new skills.

Elizabeth receives her share from the Village Savings and Loans Association in South Sudan
Elizabeth receives her share from the VSLA committee (Christian Aid/Silvano Yokwe)

As well as starting her new business, Elizabeth can save for emergencies in the future. Her new income also means that she has money to support her 7-month-old baby and purchase better foods for the family. Through our programme we supported 2,250 households through village savings and loans schemes so that they can better access nutritious food.

The farmer

Adut Anet Achen tends to her sorghum in South Sudan
Adut Anet Achen tends to her sorghum (Christian Aid/Silvano Yokwe)

Adut, 40, is a farmer in Warlang Village, Aweil North County. She now grows sorghum, ground nuts and sesame.

Adut received training from our partner Support for Peace, Education, Development Programme (SPEDP) to improve the quantity and quality of her crops. This involved establishing ‘demonstration plots’, where community members can see first-hand the impact of the improved agricultural practices. SPEDP also provided her farmers group with seeds to cultivate. Farmers like Adut can now better provide food for their families and have the means to pay for other essentials.

With my farming activities, I am able to pay the school fees for my children, buy clothes for them and also pay for their medical treatment.

- Adut Anet Achen.

Through our programme we supported 3,000 farming households.

The traditional birth attendant

Abuog Buolla Ateny attends to a mother at Mbili Primary Health Care Unit South Sudan
Abuog Buolla Ateny attends to a mother at Mbili Primary Health Care Unit, Western Bahr El Ghazel (Christian Aid/Silvano Yokwe)

Abuog, 48, is a traditional birth attendant (TBA). After being trained and better equipped to support pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers, she can see real changes in her community.

The TBAs now encourage women to deliver at health facilities rather than at home, to try to reduce the high maternal death rates that were experienced previously. They also share information with women about the importance of breast-feeding, especially when their children fall sick.

More pregnant women are now accessing the Primary Health Care Services than before. The training we received is helping many mothers with the right health information’

- Abuog Buolla Ateny.

Whilst UK Aid Match came to an end in October 2021, the TBAs will continue to assist pregnant women and will escort them to health facilities when needed.

The fishermen

Mayar Chok Madut and Simon Aqui Akot, Fishermen showing their catch from Nyinabyei River, South Sudan
Mayar Chok Madut (left) and Simon Aqui Akot showing their catch from Nyinabyei River (Christian Aid/Silvano Yokwe)

Mayar Chok Madut, 45, and Simon Agui Akot, 39, are fishermen in Jur River County. They now use a smoker provided by our partner to preserve their fish. They also received training on better fishing techniques.

Simon explains that the fishermen now sell some of their fish and use the money to buy other nutritious foods for their families.  

Through our programme we supported 1,200 fishing households.

The hygiene club

The hygiene club in Aweil North County, South Sudan.
Aker Tong Garang, (left) and Deng Nyong Dong stand with their brushes. Between them stands Deputy Head Teacher John Geng Bol (Christian Aid/Silvano Yokwe)

The establishment of the Hygiene Clubs in my school have kept the pupils healthy and is also transferring the knowledge they acquired to their parents at home

- Deputy Head Teacher John Geng Bol.

Aker and Deng are hygiene club members cleaning at Marol Deng Geng Primary School, Aweil North County.

The students now have the skills and knowledge to manage and promote hygiene in the school environment. They share their knowledge about the importance of maintaining good sanitation with their families. It is hoped that these groups will continue to promote good hygiene practices in the community and schools in the future.

The new community health centre

Richard Unguec, 37, stands in front of the newly constructed primary healthcare facility built by the Nyikijo community, South Sudan
Richard Unguec stands in front of the newly constructed primary healthcare facility built by the Nyikijo community (Christian Aid/Silvano Yokwe)

Richard Unguec explains how the the Nyikijo community came together to build a new primary healthcare centre. Previously the residents had to walk long distances to access health services, but through their own funds they built this new facility. Through our partner HARD we provided the roofing and paint.

Richard believes that moving forward it will benefit more than five hundred families and that the residents will no longer have to struggle. They understand the importance of hygiene and good nutrition, and this centre will help the community to continue to access medicines and further training on good healthcare practices.

The new seed bank

The new seed bank at Malual Centre Payam Aweil North County, South Sudan.
SPEDP Food Security Officer Augustino Aguot Lieth is inspecting the seed bank at Malual Centre Payam Aweil North County (Christian Aid/Silvano Yokwe)

Since 2018, we have worked with groups of farmers to preserve seeds for cultivating the following season. Through our partner SPEDP we built a seed bank at Malual Centre Payam for the community. There are now five seed banks in Aweil North County. These banks will go a long way to ensure the farmers have enough seeds to plant for many years to come.

As our programme activities draw to a close, these activies were designed together with communities to ensure strong participation and ownership, which will encourage sustainability beyond the programme.

*UNICEF global nutrition report, 2016

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