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NAIROBI, KENYA – A Christ-centered school in Kenya has been taking in children from South Sudan for years, but a spike in the number of children arriving began in 2013. Now, as violence continues, they are struggling to meet the need.
In South Sudan, conflict has been a part of life since the 1980s, but a new wave of political and ethnic violence erupted in the capital of Juba in December 2013, causing a humanitarian crisis. Almost 1.7 million people are internally displaced and over 720,000 have fled to neighboring countries.
Exodus Academy, a Christ-centered school in Kenya, has been receiving children fleeing South Sudan for years, but the school saw a spike in the number of children arriving after the 2013 clashes.
“The numbers had been rising [from 300] to over 400 because of the ongoing fighting inside South Sudan, but currently the number is actually dropping down below 200 because of lack of money,” said Ojok Bosco, the school’s director. “Some parents have decided to go to the camp with their children because they cannot afford school fees, food and rent in the city.”
Exodus is located in the capitol city of Nairobi, and the children who remain at the school are eager to stay, pending assistance with their fees. At the school, they are progressing in math, English, Kiswahili, science, history and geography.
Bosco says the students who are most affected by migrations to the camps where aid is available are those in 8th grade, who are scheduled to take the exams that would allow them entry into secondary school.
“Now, they are in the critical condition to decide between their education and traveling to stay in the camp, and miss the exams,” he reported.
Learn about one student’s journey here – Achiet’s Story