Handicap International first deployed an emergency response team to South Sudan in 2006. Since then, Handicap International has continued to adapt its activities to respond to the immediate needs of the internally displaced population, and promote the equal rights and equal access to services for people with disabilities or injuries. The South Sudan program employs 40 national staff and 14 expatriates.
On July 9, 2011, South Sudan became an independent state after suffering from 50 years of war that left two million dead. South Sudan has some of the worst health indicators in the world, such as a lack of access to basic services, the existence of landmines and unexploded ordinance, and high food insecurity.
In December 2013, conflict broke out in South Sudan. Handicap International was not only forced to briefly suspend its activities and evacuate some staff members, but the organization’s office in Bor, the capital of Jonglei state, was destroyed. In August 2015, an internationally-mediated peace agreement was signed. According to UNHCR, as of February 2017, South Sudan is home to nearly 1.8 internally displaced people (IDPs) and more than 260,000 refugees. Nearly 645,000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighboring countries.
- Emergency response
- Civic inclusion
- Victim assistance
- Mental health project: "Touching Minds, Raising Dignity"
Handicap International's emergency response project is aimed at ensuring access to basic and specific services for the most vulnerable groups, including persons with disabilities. The organization's actions include emergency rehabilitation; distribution of assistive devices, wound management kits, non-food items, protection kits; and psychosocial support. In order to respond to the needs throughout the country, Handicap International has formed mobile teams that work with partner organizations to improve the inclusiveness and accessibility of their responses. These teams have intervened in Yambio, Lankien, Malakal, Bor, Bientu, and Yida. So far, 7,000 vulnerable Southern Sudanese and 40 Humanitarian actors have benefited from this project.
Handicap International’s civic inclusion program works with disabled people’s organizations at the central level and with self-help groups in Juda, Torit, and Bor to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities. Through civil society capacity building and community awareness activities the project aims to ensure that people with disabilities can fully participate in the development of their new country.
Handicap International is improving access to basic rehabilitation services and offering training to health and social workers, nurses, rehabilitation professionals, and caregivers. Handicap international has also established a rehabilitation room at Bor Hospital and distributed mobility devices. These rehabilitation services are being delivered at the hospital, as well as in remote communities where basic rehabilitation services and wound care services are being provided. Beneficiaries of this project also benefit from individualized case-management where the organization supplies each person with the means to support themselves financially and participate in society.
This project benefits 1,000 victims or people with disabilities, ten health workers, as well as staff at Yei hospital, and two primary health centers.
Mental Health Project: "Touching Minds, Raising Dignity"
Handicap International is enhancing the social and civil participation of people living with mental health disorders in South Sudan by reforming the structure of the Mental Health policy at a national level. By providing financial, organizational, educational, and operational support to workers in the psychiatric unit of Juba Teaching Hospital and the detention authorities of Juba prison, the organization will guarantee that mental health patients receive proper support and rehabilitation.
At least 3,000 people affected by psychiatric disorders and psychological suffering in the Juba region, 100% of people with mental health disorders confined to Juba prison, 100% of the medical staff in the prison's psychiatric cells, at least ten professional staff from the psychiatric unit at Juba Teaching Hospital, and six community workers will benefit from this project.