Children’s Thoughts on Peace: Marking 1 Year of Civil War in South Sudan

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an article by Tiffany Easthom, Nonviolent Peaceforce Country Director

Video: Nonviolent Peaceforce in South Sudan

[Editor’s Note: In South Sudan, where the danger of a full-scale war looms with the return of the dry season, Nonviolent Peaceforce provides training to nongovernmental organization workers, NP is able to spread protective coverage for civilians and at the same time mainstream protection methodologies. Over the next three months, NP will train 150 people in five areas in South Sudan. Here is a special message from South Sudan country director Tiffany Easthom.]

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What is peace to you? For children in South Sudan it’s the little things that we often take for granted. A year after the conflict, children were asked to share their perspective on what peace means to them. They communicated this through art. Illustrations included images of water, school, planes, sharing, playing sports, and growing food. See their drawings here.

Looking back at 2014, we have faced many challenges together. It has been a year of heart- break and hardwork. We have laughed together and cried together as we struggled to come to terms with the reality of the terrible violence that has continued to shake the country. We have learned a great deal, and have been able to contribute to keeping conflict affected people around the country safe. We have welcomed many new colleagues into the family and have sadly bade a few farewell.

Through all of this tragedy, we have been able to continue to develop and improve both the programming and the operational sides of the house. All of these achievements are a testament to you – to each and everyone of you who makes their contribution, who fulfills their responsibilities and who contributes to making sure that we are doing everything we possibly can for improving the safety and security of conflict affected communities.

So as the year draws to a close, I am filled with gratitude and love for all of you and am looking forward to continuing our struggle together in the new year.

[Thank you to Janet Hudgins, the CPNN reporter for this article.]

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