Nyatot urged her family to keep walking for their lives. When war broke out near the border of Sudan and South Sudan, the widow knew she had to get her mother and three children to safety in the south.
For weeks, they walked. Progress was slow because Nyatot’s mother was elderly, and her three-year-old son, Chuol, was sick.
The conflict in South Sudan has hit children the hardest. They live every day with hunger, disease, displacement and violence. In Akobo, in the Jonglei State, more than 15 percent of the children are severely malnourished.
Picking berries and leaves along the side of the road to eat, the family arrived in Akobo too late to sign up for food aid that month. They are now living together in a one-room shack covered in plastic sheeting. They share one meal a day, sometimes two.
Nyatot’s daughters, aged 9 and 12, dropped out of school so they could spend their days foraging in the forest for wild food. The girls collected firewood to sell at the market – only to return home most days with it unsold.
Save the Children is treating three-year-old Chuol for acute malnourishment.
Save the Children is supporting nearly 50,000 children in South Sudan through education, child protection, nutrition, shelter and health care. We also run five food clinics in Akobo.
The biggest problem we face right now is overwhelming hunger. If we could get food, we feel we could cope with anything.