Jonglei residents learn about bricks, shops and chickens

19 Mar 2013

Jonglei residents learn about bricks, shops and chickens

18 March 2013 - Seeking to cut down on cattle raiding, UNMISS has been teaching residents of Jonglei's Bor County to make bricks, manage shops, grow vegetablesand raise chickens.

"The beneficiaries ... are going to have a sustainable means of livelihood," said UNMISS Jonglei Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Coordinator Olaide Omideyi. "Once they get involved in these kinds of activities, they will not again go ... cattle raiding."

Organized by UNMISS DDR unit, the pilot project has been training 280 people of the area since November 2012.

Some 50 residents trained to make bricks have produced 25,000 to sell for their own profit. Another 50 learning poultry farming will receive 100 chicks each to raise on an UNMISS-built farm.

A group of 60 participants are building market shops and being trained in small business management. For their labour, they will receive 1,180 Sudanese pounds from the mission to stock the shops.

Two remaining groups of 60 people each are learning to grow vegetables.

All participants are also receiving training from UNMISS in conflict management, child protection, gender-based violence and HIV/AIDS. Some 70 per cent of them volunteered to have themselves tested for HIV/AIDS.

A participant in shop management, Martha Ageth, said the course would help feed her four children and pay their school fees. "I am a poor woman, I need to attend this training till I finish."

Mr. Omideyi said more women – about 80 per cent of participants -- were taking part in the training than men, which suited the aims of the course.

"Giving a business opportunity to women is better than giving it to men, because women will use it to support their families," he said.

Engaging Jonglei's mainly cattle-keeping communities in agribusiness activities would also help tackle food shortages in the area, Mr. Omideyi said.

UNMISS had agreed with the South Sudan DDR Commission to assess the Jonglei counties of Twic East, Duk, Ayod and Fangak as possible areas to replicate the same project, he said.