The structure of the organization

As a National Non-Governmental Organization, the Chagai Foundation (TCF) South Sudan is committed to be part of the solution in promoting literacy among young girls and safe and proper menstrual hygiene management. With enough support the TCF can even reach out to those young girls who have dropped out of school and give them a second chance to brighten their future. TCF has embarked on supporting young girls live their dreams – our motto is ‘Little girls with dreams, become women with visions’.

South Sudan reportsthe lowest literacy rates globally, the adult literacy rate stands at only 27%, and 70% of children aged 6–17 years have never set foot in a classroom. Women’s literacy rate stands at only 16% whilst they are more than 50%f the population (UN Women). The completion rate in primary schools is less than 10%, and is one of the lowest in the world with gender disparity a confounding challenge, and only 33% of girls are in schools across South Sudan.

South Sudan is known as a young country since independence in 2011, however, the other critical characteristic is that out of the current estimated 12.7 million approximately 73.7% of its population are under the age of 30 (World bank, 2022). The Country is made up of 64 ethnic groups with deeply rooted cultures and education is not labeled as priority particularly for girls as early and forced marriage are seen to be the acceptable pathway for girls in these communities. Currently 50% of 2.4million children aged 5 to 14years attend primary school in South Sudan and out of 377,085 girls of secondary school age, only 2.6% are in schools. Generally, as a pastoralist community, the girl child has often been viewed as a resource and that if they attend school, they will be ’spoilt’ by mixing with boys unchaperoned and many assume educated girls do not respect their men folks and therefore harder to marry off.

Statistically, a small percentage of the girls in South Sudan would be comfortable in receiving advice or sexual/reproductive health information from their mothers or guardians (Wooden et al, 2012). As a result, some girls drop out of school and are stigmatized fornormal biological body changes. Legislatively, the Constitution of South Sudan 2011, guarantees to every person the right to the highest attainable standard of health, including reproductive health care and sanitation. There is even a national policy on gender but no specific policy on critical items such as the provision of sanitary pads. This notwithstanding, there is a huge proportion of adolescent girls and women who are unable to access information, safe materials and other facilities for proper menstrual hygiene management. Informal research indicates that almost 80% of women and girls in South Sudan are still unable to afford or access sanitary pads. In addition, there have been appalling reports of girls exchanging sex for sanitary pads and that 2 out of 3 of pad users in rural South Sudan receive them from sexual partners. This not only compounds the problem but also increases the indignity that young girls have to endure.

Further research in South Sudan schools indicates a very high dependency on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to support education, sanitation and hygiene among school going children. According to Kelly Alexander et al, 2014, “77% of all hygiene costs were paid for by NGOs – covering the costs of hand washing materials, soap and sanitary pads.”

TCF’s Key activities reflect our key projects:

Thematic area 1: Education

  1. Scholarships for students from early childhood education to tertiary level education
  2. Construction of schools to prevent long distance travelling
  3. Psychosocial support for girls, boys and their parents with special attention to orphans

Thematic area 2: WASH

  1. Construction of boreholes
  2. Menstrual Hygiene management workshops for schools and out of school girls
  3. Health Hygiene promotion

Thematic area 3: Protection

  1. TCF implements Gender based Violence and child protection projects
  2. Psychosocial First Aid
This has been possible through the unwavering support of our donors, Bibi’s Empire, The Rotary Melbourne and great collaboration with both non-governmental and Government Agencies.