A child's role as a parent to their younger siblings

Israa Haroun takes care of her younger siblings and grandparents while her parents are farming in Jebel Mara.

UNICEF
Shehzad Noorani

30 December 2019

Israa Haroon Suleiman Musa, who is 7-years old, shows off her infectious smile while with her 3-year old sister Heba, and 2-year old Mozdelifa at the UNICEF supported Atfal El Gad Child Friendly Centre (CFS). The centre is located in Tawila, 60 km West of El-Fasher, the capital of North Darfur, Sudan, and is managed by Saeker Voluntary Organization.
 

Shehzad Noorani
Israa lives in Borgo IDP camp with her grandparents. Her parents are farmers and work on their lands in Jabel Mara. She has four siblings, aged 2, 3, 5 and 10 years-old. She is the main care provider for her younger siblings.
Shehzad Noorani
While Israa stands with her younger siblings, an animator from the UNICEF supported Child Friendly Centre speaks with her grandmother. She was just three-years old when her family fled a violent attack on her village in Basa, Jabel Mara. Israa spoke of how she still remembers gun shots, fires, screams and people and animals fleeing.
Shehzad Noorani
After returning from the UNICEF-supported Child Friendly Centre, Israa puts Mozdelifa, her 2-year old sister to sleep.
Shehzad Noorani
Once Mozdelifa wakes from her nap, Israa speaks to her and makes her smile whilein their house in Borgo IDP camp, in the town of Tawila.
Shehzad Noorani
During the day, Israa dries Okra in her house. Dry okra is one of the main ingredients used in traditional Sudanese food such as Tagaliya. (Sauce)
Shehzad Noorani
Israa has a close bond with her grandparents and loves taking care of her grandfather. She always makes sure he is well nourished, for example by giving him water.
Shehzad Noorani
Israa stands next to her grandmother smiling. Her grandmother clearly is very proud of her and cares for her grand daughter.
Shehzad Noorani
Israa often helps out with daily tasks around the house, like preparing the fire and pots to cook for her family.
Shehzad Noorani
Standing on the window of a damaged part of her house, Israa Haroun smiles with hope. Israa does not go to school because of the high expenses and responsibilities at home. “I don’t go to school because of the fees and cost of uniform. I also have to look after my younger siblings, my grandparents are older and need to be looked after.” Said Israa Israa is one of over 3.5 million children in Sudan who are out of school. UNICEF Sudan continues to support all children in the country to ensure they have access to education.