On Tuesday, February 12th, 119 children and adolescents – 48 girls and 71 boys – formerly associated with armed forces and armed groups will be released in a ceremony in Gbudue State, South Sudan. This is the fifth wave of these releases.
CMMB continues to work closely with Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (DDR), Ministry of Education, Gender and Social Welfare, UNICEF, UNMISS, World Food Program, Food and Agricultural Organization, and World Vision to support the children from the moment of release to their reunification and reintegration into communities.
The event includes the verification of children by the DDR and issuance of certificates. The children then meet with social workers who conduct family tracing and psycho-social support (i.e. basic counseling), before children receive a medical screening and educational assessment.
CMMB will be responsible for case management after the release, a process whereby each child is assigned a social worker who visits their homes or places of residence and conducts comprehensive assessments which help identify protection concerns for each child. After the assessment, a joint plan of action is developed by the social worker, child, and family on how to meet the identified needs. This includes referring the child to various agencies that provide the specific required services – including nutrition, education, psycho-social services, and livelihood and vocational training. CMMB will provide counseling, follow-up visits, and ensure children are connected to the various services required both within CMMB and through other local partners.
If you are interested in speaking with our head of child protection, Catherine Onkware to learn more about our work on the ground and the challenges and joys of this work, please contact Laura Manni (firstname.lastname@example.org, 212.612.2579).
The global commitment to end the use of children in armed conflict led to the release and reintegration of more than 5,000 children in 2017, but tens of thousands of boys and girls are still being recruited, kidnapped, and forced to fight or work for military groups or armed forces at “alarming rates” according to the United Nations.
About CMMB – Healthier Lives Worldwide
CMMB (Catholic Medical Mission Board) is a global humanitarian organization with more than 100 years of experience in delivering the best possible health solutions to women, children, and communities living in poverty. To learn more, visit cmmb.org.