PRIMARY HEALTH CARE PROGRAM
In many areas of South Sudan children have to walk for hours to the nearest health clinic, which is often no more than one room with few drugs and no trained staff. Poor health infrastructure combined with high rates of preventable diseases and malnutrition means that one in seven children in South Sudan die before their fifth birthday.
ACRA helps children survive in the face of some of the most adverse conditions in the world. Our focus is maternal, new-born and child survival and we provide drugs, equipment, training and other support to government health centers, deliver vaccinations, and provide care to children who are malnourished. We also run programmes in hard to access areas with no health clinics that train community health workers to identify and treat the three main killers of children under-five; malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea, reducing the need for children to travel long distances to the nearest health center.
The primary health care specific objectives include;
- Improve availability of and access to basic packages of health care services for IDPs and host communities, with a special focus on vulnerable groups such as women and children, through mobile clinics or strengthening of existing services, as well as through the promotion of health-seeking behavior.
- Increase Child care and maternal health services in the targeted facilities of operation in the community
- Improve health information management system to ensure availability of reliable data on the health status of the population, including on HIV/AIDS.
- Ensure availability of health education material on prevention of targeted diseases (malaria, TB, AWD, HIV/AIDS).
EDUCATION AND CHILD PROTECTION
Decades of war and on-going inter-communal conflicts within South Sudan have caused widespread internal displacement and destroyed the protective environment for children. Many children remain vulnerable to recruitment into armed groups, family separation and abduction, sexual and economic exploitation, physical violence and psychological trauma, and in some cases lack necessary and adequate adult care or support.
ACRA is implementing Child Protection programmes in Jonglei, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Lakes and Upper Nile states, responding to long-standing child protection issues, as well as those arising from emergencies.
Our work is focused on strengthening national systems to be able to address four key child protection issues:
- separated and unaccompanied children
- children without appropriate care
- economic and sexual exploitation of children
- Violence against children, including violence against children in armed conflict.
We work with community leaders, local authorities, armed forces, police, judiciary, teachers and children themselves to build the long-term capacity of communities to strengthen community-based child protection mechanisms.
Our emergency child protection activities include reuniting children who have been separated from their parents with their family, as well as providing children with psychosocial support to overcome trauma through an integrated approach with other services such as nutrition, health and education.
In Upper Nile we are providing refugee children with safe places to play and access to psychosocial support, have set up and rained community-based child protection mechanisms, and are supporting the reunification of children who have been separated from their families.
The result of poor child feeding practices and food insecurity caused by conflict, drought, floods and food price shocks, malnutrition rates in South Sudan continue to remain above the emergency thresholds, with 22% of children malnourished. In Eastern Equatoria and Jonglei states we run Centers that screen and treat children for malnutrition, providing them with highly nutritious food or medical care in severe cases. We also support local health workers and communities to identify and manage malnutrition, as well as building the capacity of the Ministry of Health to prevent and address malnutrition.
Inadequate access to safe food, water, nutrition services, poor primary health care and limited opportunities to protect, promote, and guarantee optimal infant and young child feeding are a lived realities. Young children and pregnant and breast feeding women are particularly vulnerable thus the need to protect their nutritional status, prevent under malnutrition, and guarantee survival. Our Nutrition Program seeks to lower the incidence of malnutrition, avert mortality due to malnutrition and promote better nutritional status among populations in most affected communities at large. The specific objective of the program is to initiate and facilitate community based nutrition actions targeting nutritionally vulnerable groups in humanitarian contexts
PEACE BUILDING INITIATIVES AND PROGRAMS
In humanitarian contexts, organizations have the responsibility to promote peace building particularly in conflict crisis situations. ACRA’s peace building and conflict mitigation department strives to promote community participation and ownership of various peace building and conflict mitigation interventions. It also advocates for the adoption of a national framework for peace building in South Sudan.
The department builds the capacity of youth associations and women associations and faith based groups to formulate proactive policies and strategies for managing community conflicts in their communities in constructive and non-violent manners and to expand debate on peace building, reconciliation and social, economic and political decision-making processes through youth peace dialogue forums, interactive street dramas, radio talk shows, radio spots broadcast and the dissemination of the copies of the Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) document in the local languages.
FOOD SECURITY & LIVELIHOODS AND YOUTH MICRO-ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Food Security Livelihood is one of the ACRA departments’ currently in partnership with and funded by ZOA and is implementing Food Security Livelihoods in Akobo Jonglei State, Nassir and Ulang Upper Nile State, Juba Central Equatoria State and Awerial in Lake State. In 2018, ACRA worked to improve food security for almost 4,000 IDPs and Vulnerable host Communities by providing agriculture inputs and promoting sustainable agriculture through capacity building trainings to the farmers. More than 2000 people improved their household income through increased access to cash in an emergency employment program and also 500 people were equipped with vocational skills (Tailoring, Hairdressing and Catering).
Our Food Security and Livelihoods (FSL) work provides vulnerable families with skills training, equipment and tools, and support to set up small businesses. In Jonglei, Upper Nile and Western Bahr el Ghazal states we are empowering farmers to increase what they grow and can sell at market by teaching them agricultural techniques on demonstration farms, as well as providing livestock and improving access to markets.
Our Micro – Enterprise Development Program has the following objectives;
- Develop gender sensitivity vis-à-vis participation of women in Micro Enterprise Development.
- Examine the processes of Gender inequality and their dis-functionality affecting the participation of women in micro enterprises.
- Understand the processes of promoting MED through active participation of women.
- Explore various learning mechanisms to set up Micro-Enterprises and update the methods of managing activities, develop tools and instruments for effective monitoring and evaluation of promoted entrepreneurs.
- To improve women’s access to economic resources (e.g., access to credit and savings programs).
- Empowerment of women through expansion and strengthening of the self-help group movement among women in communities and identification of new livelihood opportunities. .