VSO has been working in South Sudan since July 2011. VSO is focusing on the issues of health, basic education and good governance, the last of which is tied strongly to the voices of community in holding with local government to account for basic services through the building of civil society.
The population has been affected by massive displacement and trauma in war lasting over 40 years leaving a profound paucity of infrastructure, a tremendously fragile economic base, and a poorly educated and underserved population from which to build a state. In addition, the new government has to establish internal peace, provide for large numbers of refugees, and make progress in unresolved oil and border issues with Sudan.
Overall the country has only 27% literacy, falling to 8% for women and in 2012-13 education received only 6.8% of the country's budget. Fewer than half of primary age children are enrolled in school and 43% of teachers have only primary school education. VSO has supported the government in setting standards and developing primary education services, and supporting teacher training to raise the numbers and quality of those entering the teaching profession.
Health services received only 2.9% of the budget of 2012-13, despite under-five mortality being very high, almost 30% of the population needing food aid, and maternal mortality rates being the worse in the world. There are only 1.5 physicians and 2 nurses/midwifes for every 100,000 citizens, so VSO has supported the development of the nursing training colleges and supporting the design and management of health services nationally and locally.
VSO is working to mobilise communities to encourage people to engage with the government and develop their ability to hold it to account as many years of fighting for freedom have prevented the normal development of citizenship and state relations. Our work includes local support to civil society and elected bodies, and engaging citizens in the planning of local services to meet their needs.
VSO’s work aims to help improve access to better basic services for communities across South Sudan, and to support the development of a nation buio between the state and its citizens in a country which needs time to resolve its internal conflicts and needs skills across all areas of the civil service to develop its most basic services.
Get in touch with VSO South Sudan through:
Dr Alok Rath, Country director - firstname.lastname@example.org or
Waru William, Senior programme manager - email@example.com, Mobile:+211-955358310, +211-923150777
Tong Ping, Plot 309, Block 2 Residential Area behind Goal International, Juba, South Sudan
Find out about volunteering
By volunteering abroad with VSO you get to put your skills, energy and personal qualities to work helping people break out of poverty. Interested in volunteering abroad?