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South Sudan: “Games help us forget the suffering”

Rebecca, 12, and her family were forced out of Abyei during the violent conflict last year. They trekked to Bun Agok before they were taken to a camp for displaced people in Wau.

A terrifying journey

“I want to stay in Abyei but we weren’t allowed to stay there for long. We were chased away. They were bombing us from the air and ground,” said Rebecca as she recalled her family’s escape from Abyei.

“When we heard the bombs we would lie down, and when they stopped we began running. We were running with my friends Achol and Rania, but we were separated. I don’t know where they are now.

“All our food and property were taken, and now we have nothing to eat. When we aren’t given food, we stay hungry.”

Making new friends

“When we first arrived, life was difficult and I was not happy. There were no friends I could play with like in Abyei.

“But when my teacher told me about this place [Save the Children’s child-friendly space in Wau], I came and found many other children here. We became friends.”

Rebecca skipping rope in Barial IDP camp.
Rebecca skipping at the refugee camp in Wau.

Rebecca now comes to Save the Children’s child-friendly space to play with other children in the camp.

“I like this place, many children come here to play. We learn drawing and games. These games help us forget the suffering we had during the long journey out of Abyei.

“I was separated from my friends, but now I am able to meet new friends to play with here,” she adds.

Rebecca dancing with her friends.
Rebecca dancing with her new friends

Rebecca left her home in Abyei when she was in year six at primary school, but returned to year five in the local primary school because her schooling in Abyei was taught in Arabic, and in her new studies are in English.

“What is important in my life is school. When I got my results recently, I was so happy. I hope I will continue studying and help my people in the future,” said Rebecca.

Rebecca hopes Abyei will become calm again and her family will return back home.

Help us reach children, like Rebecca, who are caught up in crises – donate to our Emergency Fund


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