South Sudan

Wau Juvenile Prison Ministry

Due to civil war and tribal violence many young boys leave home or lose contact with their families when the fighting breaks out, as they have to run for their lives. Many are afraid that they will be forced to become child soldiers, so leave for the towns in search of a better life.  Many end up on the streets in Wau in South Sudan and some get into trouble and end up in prison. Aged from 14 – 17, they have typically been convicted of a range of crimes - anything from stealing (from the market or their family home), to murder or rape.

We support a project that helps the boys transform their lives while they are there, mainly by providing an education while in prison, as well as a range of life skill projects (including growing vegetables) and other initiatives, such as playing sport and doing art. Many of the boys are very talented.

The Prison Director is extremely supportive of the work and is passionate about showing these young boys alternative ways of living and re-integrating them back into their families or communities as soon as is possible The Director works closely with the social worker to ensure the boys receive justice. When possible we assist with bail fees.

But there are challenges in doing this, especially as a number of the children have already been separated from their families (normally due to violence) and have nowhere to go back to on their release, other than the streets.

Added to this, most of them have suffered trauma of some sort due to the conflict and/or the trauma of living on the streets. Many of them require in-depth counselling and support, something we would dearly like to provide if we had the resources to do so.

Currently we provide salaries for two teachers at the prison, without which the boys would be unlikely to get any education. We also help support the Sports Coach who comes to the prison to organise sports for the children, which they love. These activities provide the boys with a focus and hope for the future. The Spiritual Coordinator from our nearby Boys Home also comes to hold bible studies with the boys and shares the gospel with them all.

Our Wau Juvenile Prison project is one of the most challenging we do, so please pray for us as we work closely with the Prison and the boys in there.

Support our work in South Sudan >>

Our ministry at Wau Prison can provide a real sense of hope for the boys who have been sent there, providing them with self-respect and a vision of what they can do with their lives other than living on the streets and crime.

“I will keep you and will make you to be a covenant for the people and a light for the Gentiles, to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” Isaiah 42:6-7

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