There is a food crisis in South Sudan. Since 2013, there has been a 350 per cent increase in cases of children who suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).  More than 200,000 children with SAM were admitted into therapeutic feeding programmes between January and November 2016 - the highest number of admissions ever recorded, and a 50 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2015.

Four-year-old Nyajime Guet was suffering from SAM with medical complications when she was admitted to the UNICEF-supported clinic at the Protection of Civilians (PoC) site in Juba, South Sudan. Weighing just nine kilograms, rather than the 19.5 kilograms a healthy girl of her age and height should weigh, Nyajime was emaciated and near death.


Nyajime's family, comprising of her parents and two siblings, arrived at the Juba PoC in November 2014. Her father, Michael, studies social science at Upper Nile University in Juba. When fighting broke out in Bentiu, the university offered support to move Michael and his family to the PoC, so that he could continue his studies and keep his wife and children safe. With no income, the family relied on food and services provided by the United Nations.

“There was no food at home and we couldn’t feed her well,” says Michael. “She was getting more and more sick every day. The day when I brought her to the clinic she wasn’t moving; she couldn’t walk or sit.”


After just five days of treatment, Nyajime slowly started to put on weight, though it was still difficult for her to walk. She could sit and sometimes give a little smile.


With the intervention of closely-monitored feeding of UNICEF-provided milk-based fortified foods like Plumpy Nut, therapeutic milk and biscuits that are full of nutrients, along with drugs to combat her tuberculosis, Nyajime improved steadily. Within two weeks, she was on the path to a full recovery.


Nyajime continued to make great progress. She visited the clinic with her father, where the medical staff took notes of her progress and told her father how he and his family could continue to help her positive growth.


Ten months later, she is nothing like the emaciated little girl who was first admitted. Nyajime still attends regular check-ups with medical staff to monitor her weight and to treat her tuberculosis, but she is progressing well and healthy enough to attend school. 


Nyajime attends regular check-ups at the hospital to monitor her weight and to continue treatment for tuberculosis, but she is progressing well and has had no health issues since first being admitted.


Survival Gifts are real gifts that help children like Nyajime grow up with the things they need to not only survive, but to thrive and have the childhood they deserve. This year, there are over 65 unique and useful gifts – just like the therapeutic food that saved Nyajime’s life - that you can give to a child. Shop, send and spread the goodwill and holiday cheer!