Betty Fights to Give Children a Better Life!
South Sudan, one of the world’s youngest countries, has been beset by civil war since 2013, leaving millions of people homeless and destitute. But even in this hostile environment, incredible people have stepped up to help children fight for a better tomorrow. Traffic police captain Betty, 48, is one of them.
Betty and Grace
Betty, a proud mother of four, shared her story, “I started working in the police force in 2008. While there, I went through training to help survivors of rape, abandoned and orphaned children.”
She recalled, “During my seven years of service, I received 29 children whom I handed over to the Orphanage and Confident Children out of Conflict Centre. These children were picked from the public market, at rubbish pits, and the cemetery.”
In February 2010, Betty received an abandoned baby which would change her life for good. “The baby was pale and ill when I first saw her. I took her to the orphanage and a child care centre but was turned down. They feared the baby wouldn’t survive.”
Currently, Betty cares for eight children. Four of whom are in the process of being handed over to her for adoption. “Every child has a right to education and that is why I decided to send them to school,” she expressed. Just like any parent, Betty is working hard to secure the futures of her adopted children. “I do not want my children to go back to the streets when I die. I want to secure for them plots where they will be staying in future,” she says, adding “I will counsel them when they grow up before telling them the truth so that they are not left in the dark.” Leading the way
As a community leader, Betty takes the initiative to mobilise and reach out to schools to raise awareness on the rights of children as well as their needs, such as the right to food, shelter, medicine, and support for survivors of rape and abandoned babies. In Juba, World Vision works with community leaders like Betty and women groups to raise awareness on the protection of children and their rights. Betty was one of 282 women supported with psychosocial support messages, dignity kits, and livelihood empowerment.