Children in Crisis

“When I heard about the closure of schools, I felt as if the world became dark on me because [the doors to] education, school and the future were closed for us,” says Yalda.* “And I thought I’ll not be able to follow my dream anymore.” In March 2022, Yalda, 18, arrived at school in Afghanistan after the winter holiday, excited to start her final year of high school. But instead, she was told to go home, and that she was not allowed in school. This was devastating for her. Not only has she been unable to complete her final year, It means her future is also on hold, as she cannot start university until her high education is completed.

The crisis in Sudan is driving South Sudanese refugees living in the country to return home, only to find themselves lost in troubled borders with no homes to return to and constantly living in fear of the unknowns. When we met, Ajang, 35, she was struggling bare-handed to set up a makeshift tent in the transit camp in Renk, a county in South Sudan’s Upper Nile region where most of the arrivals – Sudanese refugees and South Sudanese returnees – enter through one of South Sudan’s border points.

For many South Sudanese refugees living in Sudan, a conflict forced them to leave their homes. Now, it is again because of conflict that has left them with no choice but to return. The recent crisis in Sudan has been forcing many people to leave their homes for safer places to live. For 13-year-old Tina, returning to South Sudan to flee from the ongoing conflict in Sudan brought back painful memories. It was like reliving a nightmare that she wished she never had.