The world's newest country, South Sudan, will celebrate its 10th anniversary of independence in 2021.

The country grew from decades of conflict — and MAG has been working in, what is now, South Sudan to help heal its scars since 2004.

A MAG clearance team in South Sudan

In the small village of Amika, Betty Kasara lives with the scars more than most.

A biological mother to three children, Betty is also a foster carer to 11 more who all lost their parents to a bitter civil war.

Betty, like many women in South Sudan, is playing a crucial role in rebuilding and healing a nation ravaged by decades of fighting — during which more than two million lives were lost.

Women in South Sudan are the sole breadwinners in half of all households, supporting their families and communities.

But their ability to rebuild is hamstrung by the deadly legacy of conflict — unexploded bombs litter communities across the country.

The weapons of war lay buried, dormant, but ready to strike at any moment.

Betty Kasara, her family and the puppies by their home in Amika

MAG teams in South Sudan are working to find these explosive remnants of war before a child does.

In Amika village, MAG teams found that Betty and her children had been living in imminent danger for years. 

Buried by Betty's front door was a vicious cluster bomblet, a deadly and indiscriminate explosive weapon banned by 130 countries over a decade ago.

"I was so scared for the children," Betty told us. "I couldn’t let them play and knew there were bombs in the ground but didn’t expect one here, next to our door."

It was the 14th unexploded bomb MAG teams had found in and around the homes in the village. The bombs are too sensitive and dangerous to be moved — they have to be destroyed where they are found.

When MAG teams found the bomb on Betty's doorstep, they prepared protective sandbags and evacuated everybody — along with their ducks, puppies and goats — before safely disposing of it.

An unexploded bomb was found right on Betty's doorstep

Thankfully, it was a MAG team that found the bomb before one of Betty's children did. 

Amika village had suffered many accidents — and near misses — before MAG arrived.

"One of the bombs exploded next to my house before when a fire I lit under a brewing barrel exploded — luckily no one was next to it. I am so happy you are here and you have cleared the bombs," Betty explained to the MAG team in the village.

But it could have been such a different story. 

Thankfully, Betty is no longer one of the 60 million trapped by the daily fear of living alongside landmines and unexploded bombs. But her story is a reminder that the deadly legacy of conflict lives long after the fighting has stopped. 

For millions of people, surviving the peace after conflict is a daily struggle. Every landmine and unexploded bomb our teams find is another family and community that can live and work freely.