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South Sudan's orphan girls find solace in singing

South Sudan's orphan girls find solace in singing

This is culture

Singing for a cause.

Decades of conflicts in South Sudan have seen tens of thousands of children lose their parents, leaving them orphaned at a very tender age.

These girls, now staying at an orphanage in Juba, are among the vulnerable children, rescued from the harsh environment that exposed them to both rape and sexual exploitation.

“I started with three girls and then the number grew. By providing them something to eat, water, and a place to stay. The whole program started growing. We started by discussing the things that happened in the night, because most of the girls were spending the night in nightclubs,” said Cathy Groendijk, Director of Confident Children out of Conflict center in Juba.

For the girls, the center has given them a new ray of hope.

“I like singing the songs because we sing to praise glory to God. And I love the songs,” said Regina Keji, one of the orphaned girls.

Apart from restoring their confidence, the choir also instills in them a sense of responsibility through their daily chores and also in their studies.

“Here we practice tough love. They have to change they have to be clean they have to participate in everything. They have to keep the environment where they sleep very very clean. They have to go to school regularly,” said Cathy.

South Sudan’s fragile peace agreement was broken by intense fighting in Juba last month, that saw the loss of lives of more than 100 people.