What can you do to show a 5-year old you care?
We moved to Florida when I was 4-years old and, at the time, it broke my heart. I hated living in Florida. I missed my home in West Virginia. I missed our home there. I missed the family we had there (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc). I missed my dog. That move was really hard on me. I don’t remember much of being that young but I remember how hard I cried on that long drive.
My 5th birthday was our first one in Florida and I believe it was spent at the beach (most of our birthdays were). That year was the year I started Kindergarten, my mom was pregnant with my little sister, and I was really in to Cabbage Patch Kids and My Little Pony. I remember asking my parents for things like new dolls, new dresses, and a kitten. But, I’m not writing about myself today. When I asked, “What can you do to show a 5-year old you care?” I wasn’t talking about 5-year olds in Florida, or in West Virginia, or anywhere in America. I was talking about the 5-year olds in South Sudan whose stories have recently broken my heart.
I’m asking you to join me today and show these beautiful little girls, and this whole country that you CARE.
Please stay with me because I want to introduce you to Chianyal, Nyahok, and Zeieya, 3 little girls that would benefit so greatly if you would only be willing to sacrifice a week’s worth of latte’s or a single date night for them.
Chianyal lived in a forest before finding shelter in a UN camp. She washes herself with cups of water; everyone in her camp depends on aid groups for water. This beautiful 5-year old girl contracted malaria in May and still gets a fever at night. The UN calls South Sudan’s current malaria outbreak “unprecedented”
She skips rope and makes mud figurines with other kids in the camp, currently 180,000 South Sudanese live in UN protection camps.
Chianyal doesn’t go to school so she can look after her baby sister Nyanen. South Sudan has the highest proportion of girls who aren’t in school of any country in the world. Learn how you can help.
Nyahok’s home was burned down in 2014 when the war came to her town; 2.3 million South Sudanese have lost their homes since fighting began in 2013. There isn’t enough clean water where Nyahok lives, so she and other kids drink dirty, disease-laden water. Due to the terrible conditions, children in South Sudan are 13 times more likely to die before their 5th birthday than American children.
Nyahok’s favorite game is mixing dirt with water and pretending she’s cooking food. With no crops or cattle, Nyahok’s mother feeds her a porridge of grains and wild leaves. They are not alone, 2.8 million people in South Sudan are in urgent need of food assistance. Nyahok’s family doesn’t have money to send her to school but that is not uncommon, South Sudan has the highest proportion of girls who aren’t in school of any country in the world. Learn how you can help Nyahok.
Zeieya’s home was destroyed when war came to her town in 2014; 2.3 million South Sudanese have lost their homes since fighting began in 2013.
She helps care for her family’s goat which is important because they hope the goat has a kid so they can drink the milk. The milk is essential because currently 680,000 children in South Sudan are malnourished.
Summer temperature soar to above 100 degrees where Zeieya lives and there aren’t enough wells, so kids often drink dirty water.
Zeieya has no toys so she creates her own games. One of her favorite games is pretending to grind sorghum to eat to feed her hunger. There are currently 2.8 million people in South Sudan in urgent need of food assistance. Learn how you can help Zeieya.
What were you doing when you were 5-years old?
A five-year-old should be getting ready for kindergarten, not going hungry because of a war which has been going on for their entire life. It’s devastating, friends.
The country of South Sudan turns 5 on July 9th, 2016. It is the world’s youngest country – it’s founding was a moment of hope but that hope turned to despair in 2013 as armed conflict broke out. A 5-year-old child in South Sudan, like the three I featured above, was born into peace, but has no memory of anything but war.
5.1 million people, nearly half the country, are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Will you help?
How can you help?
- Share this post on social media using the links at the bottom of this page. That will help spread the word about the plight of those living in South Sudan and, hopefully, encourage others to take action.
- Visit Care.org and learn about all of the ways you can offer assistance. Education on the issue is the first step!
- Donate to the cause! You can do that here.
To give you perspective about how your donation can help, here is a bit more information: