When South Sudan declared independence last year, the world rejoiced. The small, newly-formed and oil-rich nation had been plagued by civil war with the north for over twenty years. During that time, an estimated two million people had been killed. And now, even though independence is theirs, South Sudan is still facing loads of other issues.
On one hand, the new nation is excited to be able to govern itself and write its own constitution and enact its own laws. On the other hand, corruption and deception have already been revealed within leadership. The nation of Sudan has been pounding the small country with attacks along the border, and many South Sudanese have been sent fleeing for their lives into the countryside. Poverty, displacement, and sickness are widespread across the nation, and international aid has been slow to come into the affected areas.
It has been a tough first year, to say the least.
The nation is also in dire need of schools and infrastructure; something that we’re familiar with at Invisible Children. We have seen firsthand the power of education in the lives of students and parents alike, and we sincerely hope that the South Sudanese people are able to rebuild schools, hire teachers, and send their kids to school. South Sudan may have control of massive amounts of oil, but the real long-term gains for this new nation will come from investing in it’s future: the youth.
We are glad that South Sudan can celebrate a year of independence, and our hope is that the future of this small nation is one of peace and prosperity.
(Image source: CNN)