Nakoria Logge and her baby brother in Boma
Nakoria Logge is a 16-year-old girl from Kessingor, South Sudan. After her mother died, she was left to care for her 7-year-old sister and 5-month-old twin brothers alone, as her father stays in a cattle camp and is not involved in their lives. Her days consist of trying to sustain her siblings:
…there was not enough food for my brothers to eat and they became sick and malnourished. There are no health facilities around Kessingor. The nearest one is in Boma which is two days’ walk from my village…I was totally vulnerable and didn’t know what to do.
Nakoria’s story is one of courage and resilience in the midst of devastating loss. In this interview, she shares how RMF has supported her and her family, and how she is growing stronger in the face of adversity.
One of the women who was working as a nutrition volunteer in Boma came to Kessingor village for a visit. She advised me to take my twin brothers to Boma because in Boma there is a hospital for treating such kind of sick children. I waited for two days. There was no one that I could go with and the condition of the children was getting worse. Fortunately, I got one of the men who came from Lopet and was taking his cows to Boma, so I decided to follow him with one of the children who was very sick. I left the other baby with my younger sister, because I was unable to carry both of them and my sister is too young to travel for two days on foot. When I reached Boma, the child was admitted and given milk and treatment. Four days later, the child started recovering and can play now. This has given me hope.
Unfortunately, after one week, I got information that the other twin brother who I left with my younger sister had died. This has affected me so much, but the people of RMF counseled me and gave me comfort on what happened. They are giving me food while in the hospital and advised me on how to take care of the present child and leave everything else to God. I was emotionally disturbed, but with the care from RMF that I got for my brother and myself, I gained some confidence again to live.
The RMF team has helped me gain some hope back in life because of the support they have shown to me, both physically and psychologically. I was thinking of going to get a husband to at least to help me take care of these children. They told me that is not a good idea, but rather that I should stand strong and first look after my remaining brother and the sister because once married at this age no one will help my brother and sister and they may die. I do not want to lose my brother because he at least survived which I take as a positive. I am going to fight for them.
This experience has given me hope that if I stand strong, I can help save the lives of others back in our village in Kessingor. I will ask them to bring their children to the facility in Boma. Though it is far, two days’ walk, it can save lives.
This experience from the hospital has strengthened me to become even more strong and to adapt to the new life. That is, I used not to know that we have to bathe children and wash food containers to avoid diarrhea. As you can see, now my brother is healthy and clean. I can now bathe him at least twice a day and ensure that his milk and food container is clean.
RMF has helped me to learn that all I do in the family must be clean to avoid sickness and malnutrition. I will also go back and teach my community members how to keep good hygiene. I also have knowledge on how to prevent malnutrition and will teach my community members good practices to prevent their children from dying like my brother who was left in Kessingor.
South Sudanese children
RMF has maintained a strong presence in South Sudan since 2009, despite many challenges. Violence and insecurity continue to affect the people of South Sudan, even after the end of a decades-long civil war. The country is financially unstable, and 42% of South Sudanese are facing severe food shortages with very few resources accessible to them. One of RMF’s initiatives in South Sudan, and the initiative that helped Nakoria, is the RMF UNICEF Malnutrition and Prevention Program in Jonglei State. Through this initiative, we are providing relief from malnutrition, as well as health education and outreach, to one of the neediest areas of South Sudan. There are currently 15 sites in this region where we are operating nutrition centers. In the first quarter of 2019 alone, 29,667 children were screened for malnutrition in Ayod and Boma, and many lives were saved. As in Nakoria’s experience, this outcome is further multiplied when each patient returns to his or her village and shares this knowledge with others.
We are proud and grateful to join forces with the South Sudanese people, who, like Nakoria, are courageous and resilient in the face of adversity. By offering consistent education, nutrition, immunizations, and primary healthcare services, we seek to further bolster the resiliency of this community.
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