Work and Travel in South Sudan
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN SOUTH SUDAN FOR TRAVELLERS
South Sudan is one of the most troubled nations in the whole of Africa. It’s the world’s newest country, after having gained independence from Sudan in 2011. But anyone who decides to travel in South Sudan will tell you that the split was far from amicable.
The country is now suffering from an acute humanitarian crisis. And that has opened up plenty of volunteering opportunities in South Sudan for willing adventurers.
So in our travel guide to South Sudan we are going to reveal how you can help support this stricken nation.
1. Teach English in South Sudan
Of course, there are plenty of educational opportunities here. The problem is that most of them are with charities that demand formal teaching degrees and real experience. But if you’re a native English speaker you can work in South Sudan as an English teacher.
You will be responsible for going into schools and universities in order to teach English. The philosophy behind this is to empower the youth of the country and, eventually, enable the population to reach out on an international scale.
All you need is to be a native English speaker.
2. Rehabilitate Horses in South Sudan
A lot of people believe that you won’t find many horses in Africa. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Work and travel in South Sudan can take you into the field of conservation. The idea behind this is to care for and rehabilitate horses, many of which have been abused over the years.
The war caused so much disruption that the number of horses in need of help has exploded. Your work in South Sudan can give you the chance to work with these animals and learn about how to care for them.
This is a real skill that’s applicable to countries and volunteering projects all over the world.
3. Work in an Orphanage in South Sudan
The devastation of the war in South Sudan has left many children without parents. The problems were complicated further by the humanitarian crisis in the wake of independence. It’s led to orphanages springing up across the country; some of which have higher standards than others.
By working in an orphanage you can make a real difference to the lives of these children. Whether you want to work directly with the children or whether you just know how to repair a roof or paint a room, there’s a place for you.
These volunteering opportunities in South Sudan can take you to all four corners of the country.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR SOUTH SUDAN
South Sudan is one of the hardest countries to get into in Africa. The only citizens that can get a visa-on-arrival are those from East African Community countries. For more info click here. Everyone else must apply for a visa.
Despite the strict visa requirements enforced by many African countries, they often have an electronic visa system in place to avoid a trip to the embassy. Not so with South Sudan. If you want to work and travel in South Sudan you must visit an embassy in your home country.
Due to the status of the country, expect your application to take a considerable amount of time. The only way to expediate your application is to work with an international charity with access to full visa support.
There are no signs that this awkward system is going to change anytime soon.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN SOUTH SUDAN
The spring season coincides with the beginning of the rainy season. The wet season can be difficult to operate in because the weather is regularly hot and humid. For this reason, we recommend sticking to the major cities like Khartoum.
There’s much work to be done here. Consider working in the slum areas with community development organisations.
Another type of work is business mentoring. You don’t need to be a qualified businessperson as it often involves teaching local people how to use and implement computing within their business structures. It’s a great way to be able to connect with the locals.
Finally, you may want to consider the education sector during the wet season. As you travel in South Sudan, you’ll be able to avoid the worst of the weather by teaching English in schools and universities.
The summer is merely a continuation of the wet season. You should refer back to the previous section for more information on the types of volunteering opportunities in South Sudan available in the wet season.
The rainy season finally subsides around the end of October. There are a range of other work options during the dry season.
One such option is working in the refugee camps. There are hundreds of these camps (mainly situated near the border with Sudan). They, and the charities that operate there, need all the help they can get.
It’s also an opportunity to aid in the reconstruction of the infrastructure that was devastated by the war. South Sudan needs manpower and materials that simply aren’t always available locally.
Furthermore, you can work with horses and in other conservation areas. Take note that these projects will often require you to travel to the more remote parts of the country.
The winter season is a continuation of the dry period. Look back at ‘Autumn’ for a list of the projects available in winter.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN SOUTH SUDAN
South Sudan is part of a former British colony. After independence, the country has continued to suffer under the shadow of poverty. But this hasn’t made the people hostile. They’re still eager to share their traditions and culture with foreign visitors who make the trip.
But while you work in South Sudan you need to be aware that this is one of the poorest countries in the world. It’s not for the faint hearted and you must be willing to adapt to conditions here.
This is definitely not the place for the first-time volunteer, due to the immense challenges that you’ll face.
Do you have what it takes to take advantage of the volunteering opportunities in South Sudan?