We’re getting Harper ready for kindergarten. In just a few short weeks, she’ll put on a backpack way too big for her and climb up on a big yellow bus that will take her to her first day of school. She is very excited about being a kindergartener.
I am less excited.
She’s too little! Too young! It all happened so fast! She’s my baby!
I know those sentiments are all too common and moms all over feel it’s too soon for their babies to start school.
In the South Sudan though, mommies aren’t anxious about back-to-school time, they’re worried about feeding their five year olds.
On July 9, 2016, South Sudan celebrates its five year anniversary of becoming a country. Five years ago was a moment of hope and excitement when they established their independence, but since that time, hope has turned into despair. Soon after the South Sudan became a country, an armed conflict broke out. That means babies born into peace have no recollection of anything but war. That means girls around South Sudan–the same age as my precious daughter–are fighting to survive as opposed to playing with their friends.
If you’ve been around my blog for any length of time, you know Harper. You probably love her because she is ridiculous and ornery and funny. Now I want you to meet Zeieya.
Zeieya turns five this month. She is currently homeless because in 2014, her home was destroyed by war. Zeieya isn’t getting ready for school, she’s helping her family care for a goat that they hope will have a kid so they can have goat milk to drink. 680,000 kids in South Sudan are malnourished and don’t have access to clean water to drink.
Zeieya’s favorite game is pretending to have food to eat.
Let me say that again: Her favorite game is pretending to have food to eat.
The South Sudan needs our help. Here’s what we can do right now: CARE.org is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. Their focus is working with women because, quipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. But they need more funding. CARE has helped over 300,000 people in the South Sudan, but international funding is only one-fourth of what is needed to help the country recover.
Go to their website, check out their stories and goals, and donate as little as $5 to help Zeieya stop pretending to have food. South Sudan has the highest proportion of girls who aren’t in school of any country in the world. Let’s work to change that.