At seven years old, Simon Piol was malnourished and relied on food distributions from Concern to survive. Now, twenty years later and in the same area of South Sudan, he is saving the lives of children that are malnourished, just like he once was.
In Aweil, a rural part of the Bahr el Ghazal region of South Sudan, living conditions are hard: the climate is unforgiving making growing food almost impossible; opportunities to earn a living are scarce, and political unrest has caused thousands of people to flee their homes. As a result, hunger is rife. Sixty per cent of the population in South Sudan are food insecure – meaning they do not have access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life. Almost seven million people face hunger, and around 1.4 million of this number is predicted to be children under the age of five.
Twenty-eight-year-old Simon Piol has worked for Concern for two years, working as a Nutrition Assistant at the Majok Nutrition Centre where he screens and treats malnourished mums and babies. Simon lives just a fifteen-minute walk away from the centre and, aside from a few years studying in Uganda, has lived in the area his whole life.