The Children as Future Assets -The Case of Action for Children Development Foundation in South Sudan

Posted: October 16, 2018 by Emmanuel Ariech Deng in Junub Sudan



Paulino Akuei Athian

By Emmanuel Ariech Deng

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 (PW)-Action for Children Development Foundation founded in Wanyjok town Aweil East County, Northern Bhar El Ghazal in April 2004, the national indigenous organization became fully registered and operational in 2005 with a mission to lead and inspire the nation and other stakeholders to collaborate in developing and addressing children’s prevailing problems in the traditionally oriented communities in South Sudan. ACDF-SS Executive Director, Paulino Akuei Athian remained optimistic that in safeguarding and reclaiming the child rights as stipulated in South Sudan transitional Constitution-2011 and international Charters ratified on children’s rights and development, it is a collective responsibility for Donors, INGOs and NNGOs engaged in fixing children prolific future.

As an imperative means of trying to reach the intended goals or remain focused on the ACDF-SS vision of transforming the societies in the country into a peaceful, more developed environment, the expected realization is to promote and respect children’s and vulnerable people’s rights in conformity with local laws and international charters governing children and the human rights.
Current Progress and Program Execution

However, little did we know that a tremendous work is being done by ACDF-SS and many other national organizations, Save the children International-South Sudan has taken a lead in partnering with ACDF-SS on Child Rights Governance, a project funded by Save the Children Denmark on advocacy for policy change and lobbying for more commitment in resources allocation to children in children’s respective ministries or institutions in the country. John Piol, a seconded staff by Save the Children International to ACDF-SS in regard to Child Right Governance (CRG) and monitor the project successful completion, said we would like to see a change in children policy and availability of enough resources in their respective institutions. Apart from CRG Project, we are implementing Child Resilience Program and Girl Child Education which is on process of launching, The Girl Child Enrollment Campaign started so far in Rum Marial  and, Majak Ajuong and Malualkon Primary schools as we continue with other Schools in Aweil East.

A comprehensive study review conducted by this author in the main office of Action for Children Development Foundation-South Sudan (ACDF-SS) reveals immediate and long term plans for children’s proposals that are consistent with children dire needs and donors-funding agencies designated targets in children’s development priorities. This commitment is a rare opportunity to attract donors or humanitarian agencies working to restore the children’s faltering hopes and prevention of activities that influence children into detrimental life-styles in rural- urban centers and replace them with stable, creative and positive programs for children positive growth.

With poverty and hunger created by the abruption of war in South Sudan, some children were consequentially plunged into early life hazards, depriving them of their rights at parental and governmental levels, exposing them to hard labor and hopelessness at some points in far remote towns and typical villages in South Sudan. The child rights as upheld by the country transitional constitution remain just scripts in books and lacks government funds in areas of Protection, Early Childhood Development & Primary Education, and Healthcare initiatives that are worth prioritizing, promoting and transforming the lives of vulnerable children in a totally undeveloped parts of the country.

In the ACDF-SS Child Protection Unit, a departmental Manager and his team described their experiences with children as fantastic interaction when their needs/ activities are being funded and a disgusting dejá vú when the organization is unable to provide/execute programs intended for the needy children due to inconveniences emanating from inaccessibility, funding, undeveloped infrastructures and sometimes insecurity.

Mr. Angelo Ajiing Majak, the Manager of Child Protection Department and his two assistants, Mr. Ayii Nyang Mou and Ms Aguek Lourina Ayong unanimously expressed concern over children’s work as not regrettable job and they feel inspired by God to continue doing it. In their appeal to other international organizations working for children welfare such as Save the Children Internationals, UNICEF and many others, the team irritated that they will not be tired to implement any program funded for children in ACDF-SS to the satisfaction of the funding agency and donor country. This team is currently tasked with the CHILD RESILIENCE PROGRAM funded by DANIDA accessing and training of Parents whose children are participating in the Child Resilience Program on how they will support them and fulfilling their roles as guardians and immediate caregivers.

They will also learn on children’s rights and how they will protect them from being infringed. The overall aim of Child Resilience Program is to prepare children who had experienced difficulties in their lives to cope and be resilient.

To capture the complex interaction of personal and social factors that facilitates resilience, the program is framed around the dimensions of:

  • Capture the complex interaction of personal approaches
  • Capture the complex interaction of personal and social factors that facilitates (physical & practical) aspects.
  • (Practical) [s/he] complex interaction of personal and social implications.

It is equally acknowledged and un-precariously understandable that the world, International Non-Governmental Organizations and National Non-Governmental Organizations have tried their best in collaborative efforts of addressing human rights abuses and children problems but the continuation of unfolding crisis in South Sudan remained an obstruction in emergency humanitarian relief deliverables to areas spotted as of immediate children’s humanitarian needs and attention.

The humanitarian Organization Save the Children International, has seconded their staff Mr. John Piol Ngor to engage and deliver the activities of Child Right Governance with Aweil East State Authorities in safe-guarding the children basic rights stipulated in the State and national constitution. In his experience, Piol said, children rights and problems would be correctly addressed if the parents, State and National governments work together with the agencies implementing children programs to avoid endangering the children to the prevailing challenges and lack of basic services both at schools and homes.


ACDF-SS as rapid growing national non-governmental organization with more than eleven years of humanitarian experiences in children and community development programs and plans, the Child Resilience Program I witnessed in four remote primary schools in Malualkon, Malualbai, Rum-Marial and Rulnyin in Aweil East State, had instilled a significant reform in children behavior among themselves, towards parents and the teachers. One child confessed, that he wouldn’t get involve into fight even if offended by the others just because the Children Resilience Program impacted on him to avoid physical confrontation with his fellow school children and home friends.

The Organizational Efficiency and Effectiveness

ACDF-SS has had and would hopefully continue to abide by its obligations and commitment to work for children and community development in areas of operation. The organization has truly shown willingness and ability to contribute a wider strategy in children development and community initiatives for peace and self-reliant programs. The organization has firmly embarked on doing the right thing as per their professional and guiding principles of being inclusive, neutral, independent, intolerant for corruption, exemplary in disseminating and defending children ‘s rights, team work oriented, flexible and agile, security minded, do no harm and creates conducive environment for working.

The Organizational Expansion

ACDF-SS currently operates in two more other Field Offices apart from the Head office in Wanyjok, Aweil East State. The Field Office in Bor and another in Rumbek plus one Liaison Office in Juba. With over forty staff, the organization is highly likely to establish more Field Offices across the country as it continues to connect emergency relief and development to all vulnerable children. Embedded with core values of integrity, commitment to children rights, accountability to clients and partners, inclusivity, professionalism, excellence and impartiality, ACDF-SS is entirely engaged in executing program thematic areas of conflict mitigation and peace building, Child Protection, Child Right Governance, Health, Education, ICT and Agriculture. The contents within each item of the areas, contribute to the children welfare and positive diversion of children from activities that deviate their minds to negative thinking and influence.


It is worth noting that with time and resources, ACDF-SS would be able to achieve unbelievable development in children and community welfare programs in its designated areas of operation if the partnership with other organizations, government and donors increases over its new plans and proposals in 2018 towards 2019 and beyond. It is equally acknowledged from the study view point and recommended in good faith that the organization had magnificently contributed and will continue to provide the much needed expectations to children and the communities around. With community Radio (Nhomlau) in Malualkon being supported by ACDF-SS, the indigenous organization deserves more funding to help achieve these outstanding projects, peaceful activities, life-transformative programs and good result oriented outcomes for children as future assets of any nation on the planet earth.

The author is an independent analyst, opinion writer, blogger and cognoscente, reach him via

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