UNMISS’ peacekeepers bring a little respite to needy orphans at Torit centre
“We go collecting food items and some money from businessmen who willingly help every time they see us in the market,” Sadiq Khamis cried out to United Nations peacekeepers who had visited Malakia centre, home to some 45 orphans, including him.
Yet, whatever they receive from the charitable businessmen hardly lasts long.
“We want food for us [to continue living] here,” pleaded 17-year-old Sadiq.
In total, there are about five orphanages in Torit town. Some of them get support through foreign partners, but the Malakia centre is totally independent and managed by the area mosque leader.
Until the arrival of peacekeepers from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), there had been no sponsors, and no support from any other source.
The children smiled hopefully, as they gazed at the bags of rice and cooking oil, before lifting them to the store.
“These little food items are the support of individual UNMISS staff to the children, as a gesture of the commemoration of the international Peacekeepers Day in Torit,” said Bashir Aligelle, representing the head UNMISS Torit Field Office.
UNMISS has been to the centre before. Earlier this year, the peacekeepers arrived with an assortment of nonfood items that included blankets, sleeping mats, and plastic sheets.
“We are in dire straits as you can see. We do not have adequate accommodation to accept more children,” said Abubakar Safario Amol, the in-charge of the centre and head of the mosque, explaining the situation. “These ones sleep on mats in the shade, not mattresses and beds. There’s no water facility,” he lamented.
Besides struggling to feed the orphans, the centre also lacks adequate shelter. There is not enough space to accommodate all the children.
“I thank you so much, and I look forward to seeing more well-wishers, humanitarian organizations and UNMISS come to our rescue,” said a relieved Safario.