Internally displaced women and youth receive training on income generating projects
JONGLEI – Baking bread, making solid soap and manufacturing female sanitary products are handy skills to have. Perhaps more importantly, they can be used to make a living.
That is what 60 internally displaced women and youths in Bor are hoping to do once they have completed a capacity building programme funded and run by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) in cooperation with the non-governmental organization Initiative for Development and Emergency Action, operated by and for youth.
“This is the first time I’m part of a training like this, and I believe it will turn out to be a game changer. I am confident that when I start my own business, I will be able to take care of my family and pay school fees for my siblings,” said a smiling Nyalit Moses Kuiyok, a young woman learning how to bake tasty and nutritious bread.
Upon acquiring the skills they are learning, beneficiaries will be given start-up kits to establish their own businesses.
“This initiative is supporting sustainable livelihoods for women who shoulder much of the burden of conflict, marginalization, and gender-based violence. We also want to ensure that young people avoid drug abuse, cattle raiding, child abductions and other antisocial behaviour. When young people spend their time productively, they can become ambassadors of peace,” said Michael Mabil Bol, Executive Director of the Initiative for Development and Emergency Action.
Drug abuse is becoming increasingly common among South Sudan’s youth, with this harmful practice often being attributed to a lack of opportunities for boys and girls to learn marketable skills and find gainful employment.
“We do not have a vocational training centre in the camp (for internally displaced persons). We often find ourselves idle and becoming addicted to illegal substances. I consider myself lucky to receive this training and I will definitely make the most of it,” said Koachloaca Thok, a 21-year-old man being trained to become a soap maker.
South Sudanese girls and women in particular have found their chances of going to school, benefitting from vocational trainings and participating in the socioeconomic life of their communities limited, but with the revitalized peace agreement recognising the importance of gender equality, the tide may be about to turn.
“To empower women is to empower our nation. We are grateful to our partners for their support towards women,” concluded Elijah Mayon, Director General of the Jonglei State Ministry of Gender, Child, and Social Welfare.