By Denis Ejulu
Thousands of orphaned children and widows sheltering at stone orphanage in Juba, the capital of South Sudan have received food and safe drinking water provided by the Chinese embassy.
After years of conflict since 2013, these orphans from various parts of South Sudan have had no access to safe drinking water.
Jacob Mijok, head teacher of TB Joshua International School run by stone international church, said that most of these children lost their parents during the conflicts in 2013 and 2016.
“This place really was meant for the orphans, but management changed this after realizing that someone who cannot attend school is also an orphan, so you also accept that person,” said Mijok during the handover ceremony attended by Hua Ning, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan in Juba on Friday.
“We do not segregate children here, our mission is to bring all South Sudanese together,” he added.
Established in 2014 in the Gudele suburb of Juba, Stone Orphanage Home under this local church overseen by Peter Ayual Deng is also taking care of widows.
“This area was not affected by war and most of the people staying here fled conflicts in other parts of the country,” said Mijok.
He disclosed that many of these homeless children hail from the oil-rich northern Unity state.
Adding that all 64 ethnic groups of South Sudan are all well represented in the orphanage.
South Sudanese orphans of Stone Orphanage Home during the visit of Hua Ning, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan on April 15 2022.
“What the Chinese have done the first thing is water, as you can see the water in the compound is very salty and we have been drinking it for a long time since 2018,” he disclosed.
“It was an organization that drilled that water for us, but they never drilled it properly so when the Chinese heard about the water, they came and tested the water and that’s why they have drilled for us very nice water and also brought us food,” added Mijok.
The excited and relieved Mijok, said that they are looking forward to receiving additional support from the Chinese embassy in the form of scholastic materials and equipment for the school.
Peter Ayual Deng, general overseer of stone international church, hailed the Chinese people and government for supporting needy and vulnerable South Sudanese.
“China and South Sudan are achieving a lot, the leader of South Sudan Salva Kiir Mayardit knows about these people (orphans) and whatever you are doing here you are not only doing it only for the children but the entire nation of South Sudan,” said Deng.
“What you are doing for these people will promote the relationship between South Sudan and China,” he added.
Hua Ning, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan, said his visit to Stone Orphanage Home demonstrates love and solidarity with the children of South Sudan.
“I am deeply touched by the innocent smiling faces and enthusiastic singing and dancing of the children. By that, I would like to thank general overseer Peter Ayual Deng, and all the orphanage staff for your dedication and love, which has made the children feel the warmth of home,” said Hua.
Hua inaugurated the China-South Sudan Friendship Well built by the Chinese government.
“I am very delighted to see that with everyone’s efforts, a new deep well called China-South Sudan Friendship Well has been built, and children are now able to enjoy clean drinking water. This is a well of friendship and also a well of hope,” said Hua.
The Chinese embassy also donated bags of food to the orphanage.
In addition, the ninth batch of the Chinese medical team in South Sudan donated medicines and also provided free medical treatment to children.