South Sudan children with fruit tree seedlings given to them by Bishop Kussala 

By Elias Ginana Mangbondo – Tombura-Yambio, South Sudan

Dec 10 2020

The UN agency, UNICEF, has conducted training for children and youth in South Sudan’s Diocese of in Tombura-Yambio on the rights and responsibilities of minors.

Children trained in rights and responsibilities will be encouraged to advocate for the rights of other children through a series of radio talk shows.

Diocesan office for the protection of minors

The Diocese of Tombura-Yambio during its first Diocesan Synod held in 2019, created an office for children and youth protection in order to assist parishes, schools and organisations understand and implement the AMECEA (Association of Members Episcopal Conferences) and Diocesan charter for the protection of children and young people. This is in accordance with the Child Act 2008 under the provisions of Article 52(2) as well as Article 85(1) of the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan, which refers to any human being below the age of 18, as a child.

Veronica Annie Michale, the Coordinator of the Women and Family Department in the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, praised local United Nations officials for collaborating with the Church in the vital task regarding the protection and welfare of children in the Diocese and beyond.

Children advocating for the rights of  other children

Ms Michale further indicated that the UNICEF child protection office in Yambio has managed to train representatives among children in the Diocese. Some of the children and youth will participate in different radio talk shows and advocate for the rights and responsibilities of minors.

“The Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio through the Department of Women and Family is ready and will avail children to  theUN Family and Government programmes for participation in any developmental programmes on child-related fields,” she said.

Bishop Kussala spoke to the children about climate change 

Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, the Bishop of Yambio addressed the children at the Diocesan curia about climate change and urged them to stand firm for their rights. He told them that every child must know that he/she represents millions of other children in South Sudan, and children must consider themselves as essential in the Church and nation.  He urged them to report any challenge or abuse they encounter to reliable authorities for protection.

The Bishop then blessed the children and gave each child a fruit tree seedling to go and plant at their homes. He encouraged the children to become active participants in issues of the environment. – Vatican News