South Sudan Child Refugees 19

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August 27, 2014 - Bor County (Kondai Village - Makuach Payam), South Sudan - Wal Garang Dhiek, 42, (background - second from right) uses a stick embedded with a stone to keep birds from feasting on his sorghum field, as his family relax (left-to-right: his mother Nyaroor Kok Ajok, 70, wife Ayen Nhial Piel, 25, holding their son Nhial Wal Garang, 7-months, a young neighbor and his son Bil Wal Adhik, 5). Thousand of South Sudanese from this region became internally displaced refugees in Jonglei and Juba following the outbreak of fighting between forces loyal to South Sudan president Salvar Kiir and his ex-vice president Rick Machar in December 2013. The following is an interview with Wal Garang Dhiek, 42 and his wife Ayen Nhial Piel, 25: Please describe your current situation and the reasons for it. Mr. Dhiek: Life was good prior to the crisis but currently it is not as good. We used to have eight cows and twelve goats; all were stolen by the rebels. The children depended upon the milk from the cows. What is the hardest? Mrs. Piel: Illness is the hardest. The children fall sick and there is no money to see a doctor; they must recover at home. Currently both the baby and my husband's mother are sick. We think the baby may have malaria. His mother is having problems with her back. How has the conflict and the violence affected you and your family? Mr. Dhiek: We had to travel far to seek safety; we fled to Mathinag Island and stayed for three months. We suffered hunger and our barn was burned. The rebels killed my brother who was a soldier. What are your biggest needs at the moment? Mrs. Piel: We need help with the sickness. We can't afford money for medicine. The children need more nutritious food; there's no substitute for the lack of milk. Our main diet is sorghum. Photo by Ric Francis)