In South Sudan, 1 in 8 mothers die in childbirth.
Half of all children born die before the age of 5.
How do people survive? Subsistence farming and foreign aid.
Only 10% of the South Sudanese population is literate.
In perusing our kids report cards a few days ago, I was amazed at the number of spelling and grammar mistakes made by the teachers. But, in a context where only 10% can read, schools cannot afford to be picky.
The UN names Sudan as the world’s worst failed state, but don’t write that in the local newspaper or – like The Sudan Tribune – you’ll be shut down!
Sudan is labeled a tier 3 nation (the worst ranking) in the 2008 Trafficking in Persons Report, with men, women and children trafficked for everything from forced labor and sexual abuse to child soldiering.
One of the older boys on our compound is quite clumsy with a soccer ball, even when compared to the kids much younger than he. Another boy explained his situation. “When he was younger, the rebels took him to be a soldier. So, he never learned how to play soccer. He’s just learning now.”
Sometimes, it is helpful to put a story beside a statistic.