Every year around 1 million people in South Sudan are displaced due to significant flooding. These families are already living in severe poverty and many have fled conflict – adding the devastating threat of flooding has a deeply detrimental impact on the wellbeing of families and puts many children at greater risk of abduction and recruitment.
Families impacted by flooding in South Sudan are doing everything they can to keep their families together and provide what their children need – but without help the challenge might prove too much.
That is why Hopeland has partnered with a Swiss-based humanitarian organization, Medair, to support the production and distribution of a brand new innovative solution for South Sudanese families.
This solution will keep families together during environmental crises. The flood-resistant homes provide a safe and secure environment, preventing displacement and the separation of children from their parents. Designed to be durable and long-lasting, they offer stability and security to families repeatedly affected by flooding.
Announced in our annual report last year we are pleased to be able to tell you that Hopeland and Medair have now formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Better Flood Resilience Shelter Kit project. Initial testing has gone well and the project is on track to continue the roll out in time for the next flooding season.
The project is a major innovation project taking place in South Sudan. Developed in collaboration with the University of Juba, and Swiss Technical University EPFL, the shelter kit is a response to worsening seasonal flooding in South Sudan.
High costs of imported materials, limited shelter assistance funding, and frequent displacements further exacerbate the situation and jeopardize the adoption of generic shelter solutions seen worldwide. These factors make an innovative solution especially valuable – this is why Hopeland is working directly with Medair’s Innovation team to support this life-saving innovation.
The innovation is achieved by designing a single kit that can be configured either as an emergency shelter or a permanent roof for a family home. This affords families both a safe living space following a flood, as well as a key element to their recovery after they return to their village.
The shelter kit is manufactured inside South Sudan by local workers using recycled materials including the re-use of used rubber tires which are turned into the ropes that hold the shelter in place. The reliance on locally-sourced materials is a key innovation that can make this solution an accessible intervention to flooding in the country.
The first phase of the project aims to provide flood-resistant homes to 170 families, which will benefit over 1000 people in South Sudan. It then has potential to scale further beyond that impacting thousands. By providing resilient shelter assistance, the project will help families stay safe during flooding, prevent displacement, and contribute to the long-term recovery and development of flood-affected communities. Making communities more resilient to environmental disasters will have a long term impact on not just families but all areas of the community.
Hopeland’s Co-Founder and CEO, Nicholas Evans, said, “This shelter innovation prioritizes sustainability and resilience, empowering communities with safety and protection, in order to rebuild and recover from crises. By integrating advanced design ideas with local expertise, we are proud to support a project that not only saves lives but also fosters self-reliance and community empowerment.”
Medair CEO, Anne Reitsema, said, “We are in this together! Medair and Hopeland have a shared passion for helping families survive. We are both committed to finding innovative ways to assist them in their greatest time of need. This combined with the South Sudanese and Swiss Universities’ shared passion for making assistance more efficient and effective makes us stronger together as we seek to come alongside communities grappling with extremely challenging crises which lead to repeated displacement.”
Medair has been operational in South Sudan since 1991. South Sudan is one of Medair’s largest humanitarian programs, providing humanitarian aid and services within WASH, Shelter, Health and Nutrition. Throughout its work in South Sudan, Medair emphasizes collaboration with local communities, government authorities, and other humanitarian partners to ensure effective coordination and maximize the impact of interventions. By combining expertise, resources, and local knowledge, Medair strives to address the complex needs of the population and contribute to sustainable development in South Sudan.
Hopeland is an organization that prioritizes support for families and for children that have been separated from their families. We connect partners to mobilize communities and incubate disruptive solutions that promote safe, stable home environments and nurture children’s development. We are supporting Medair’s vital work through funding, promotion, and other key support over the next two years. We look forward to sharing more updates as this project is rolled out in South Sudan.