The UN family marks South Sudan’s Independence Day by showing solidarity with orphans in Nzara
WESTERN EQUATORIA - “You showed us that love and hope still exist,” said Ippai Joseph, a child residing at Saint Bhakita Orphanage in Nzara.
The orphanage hosts some 200 vulnerable children, aged between 4 months and 18 years, who lost their parents in conflict or were abandoned.
To improve living conditions at the orphanage, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, chose this young nation’s 12th Independence Day to show solidarity as well as bring some good cheer to children living in the institution.
For 76-year-old sister Bianca Bii Muzungu, founder of Saint Bhakita Orphanage, who has dedicated her life to provide orphans with shelter, this was a welcome gesture.
“I have been working for orphaned children since 1989 and we have managed to raise responsible people committed to their communities and country. Many of our former residents are assisting us in bringing up the children we currently house,” she revealed.
The UN family handed over blankets, sleeping mats, food items, soaps, and sanitary napkins plus financial support from their own funds.
“However small be the contribution, it constitutes a vital message of peace and hope among these children that a better tomorrow awaits them,” explained Martha Afindi, Chair of the UNMISS National Staff Association in the mission’s Yambio Field Office.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) representative, Russom Habtegabriel believes that aid to Saint Bhakita Orphanage should be sustained.
“As humanitarians, we will continue to lobby and advocate to ensure that such assistance continues and children are offered the chance to live in dignity, and develop their skills.
Christopher Murenga, Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Yambio agrees.
“As the UN, we are committed not to only support peace, stability, inclusiveness but also to ensure we give young people durable solutions enabling them to build their own lives, and consequently, a brighter future for South Sudan,” he averred.