LWF Receives Nobel Peace Prize Money

LWF-led education project for Yida refugees, South Sudan. Photo: LWF/M. Hyden
LWF-led education project for Yida refugees, South Sudan. Photo: LWF/M. Hyden

Project to Provide Education Support for Children in South Sudan

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has received a grant of EUR 600,000 from the European Union (EU) to undertake education for war-affected children in South Sudan. During an award ceremony in Brussels on 20 November, the LWF signed a contract with the European Union for the funding that is dedicated from the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize money.

“We are grateful for the opportunity offered through this project,” said Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, LWF Department for World Service (DWS) Humanitarian Director, during the “EU Children of Peace” award ceremony. “The LWF has extensive experience providing education and child support in conflict zones. Through this project we will be reaching over 5,000 children and offer them hope for a sustainable and peaceful future.”

In 2012 the EU received the Nobel Peace Prize that came with an award of EUR 930,000. The EU decided to top up the prize money to EUR 4 million and use the money to fund humanitarian projects providing education to conflict-affected children in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The EU states that through the project it “wants ‘children of war’ to become ‘children of peace’.” The EU also hopes to advocate for more support towards education projects in the future through the EU Children of Peace project.

LWF DWS Director Rev. Eberhard Hitzler underlined the significance of the EU funding in creating a peaceful environment for children. “Some years back I visited a school in Nimule, a small border town in South Sudan near Uganda. Over 500 children were learning and playing in the compound,” he said. “It all looked very peaceful until the children shouted ‘Antonov.’ Only seconds later, the first of 12 splinter bombs were dropped on the village. I will never forget the terror in the eyes of the children, who were running in all directions seeking cover. The reality that these war-affected children are facing made a strong impression on me,” Hitzler added.

“The LWF has been working with education and support for children in some of the world’s most precarious conflict zones for many years. We are grateful for the opportunity offered through the EU project, and we are deeply committed to assisting children in South Sudan become children of peace through this project,” Hitzler explained.

The LWF is among nine organizations chosen under the EU Children of Peace initiative. The 18-month project will kick-start on 1 December and activities will be focused on refugee camps in South Sudan’s Upper Nile and Unity states, which are hosting around 200,000 people who have fled violence in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states in neighboring Sudan. A majority of the population in Upper Nile and Unity states are school-age refugee children who are particularly vulnerable and susceptible to violence at community level and to being recruited as child soldiers.

The LWF has been working in South Sudan for several years. The funds from the “EU Children of Peace” will be used to accelerate learning programs and ensure safe school environments, an area which is acutely underfunded.

Spotlight on Children in South Sudan

South Sudan continues to host nearly a quarter of a million refugees, many under the age of 18.

The LWF is providing education and child protection services in camps in Upper Nile State and Unity State.

South Sudan Response