Local comedians help UNMISS explain its mandate in South Sudan
The United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has this week experimented with better explaining and raising awareness about the role of the Mission in the country by using local comedians. The first attempt saw an appreciative Rajaf East community, on the outskirts of Juba, being both informed and bursting into laughter.
During the workshop, the comedians Philip Tabuley and Emmanuel Dule entertained the participants cracking jokes around the four pillars of the mandate: protection of civilians, investigating and reporting on human rights violations, enabling access of humanitarian assistance and supporting the peace process. The crowd was also briefed about the Mission’s impartiality, inclusivity and its task to monitor hate speech.
According to Emmanuel Dule, the comedy industry has become one of the most effective means of creating awareness on a variety of issues, and for good reasons.
“I believe comedy can educate both spiritually, physically and socially. People can develop around that. Comedy itself is so effective that each and every person needs to laugh, and as long as you need to laugh, that laughter can come with a message as well”, he says.
John Mathew Ramadan, a participant hailed UNMISS for always standing with the people of Rajaf East Boma, saying the partnership between UNMISS and community should continue.
Mr. Ramadan was referring to the fact that Rajaf East is already home to an UNMISS Quick Impact Project, an agro-solar system which provides clean drinking water and is also used to irrigate a nearby vegetable farm cultivated by the community.
In his closing remarks, the representative of the Rajaf county commissioner, Mr. Abui Daniel, appreciated the clarity and simplicity of the messages as delivered by the comedians. He expressed his sincere hope that the entertaining nature of the event will make sure that important information reaches the grass root level – and offered a suggestion for future community outreach events:
“At the end of a workshop like this there should be a time given to the participants so that they are able to rate (the presentation of the UNMISS mandate), say how the community has benefitted and what they think about the way forward.”
The workshop was organized by the Community Outreach Unit of the Communications and Public Information Section and took place in the All Saints Cathedral in Rajaf East Boma.