At the heart of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) lies an enduring commitment to strengthen partnerships with the populations we serve.
By working closely with local authorities, humanitarian actors and, above all, host communities, the UN Peacekeeping mission aims to help end conflict and usher in a durable peace in this young nation.
Recently, peacekeepers from Bangladesh serving for peace in Warrap state undertook four activities designed to address urgent public needs.
These included two free medical camps at Kuajok State Prison and State Hospital, respectively; a handover of school supplies to students in remote Karajak, Gogrial west; distributing sewing machines and supplies to prisoners who had previously benefited from a tailoring skill-building programme; and, lastly, building shelters at multiple locations for local police officers.
Inmates at the Kuajok State Prison were thrilled.
“Some 20 of us underwent the tailoring training but we didn’t have enough equipment. Now, thanks to peacekeepers from Bangladesh, we have three sewing machines. We can make some money while serving out our sentences and have a better chance of economically reintegrating into our communities after we are released,” exclaimed Akier Deng, a female inmate.
When it came to free health checkups for patients in Kuajok State Hospital and nearby residents, Bangladeshi peacekeepers treated 500 individuals for various medical conditions, garnering similar appreciation.
“We have had a funding shortfall in the hospital which greatly reduced our abilities to provide treatment,” stated William Maror, a doctor.
“With this medical campaign UNMISS peacekeepers have given 500 community members not only a fighting chance at health but also hope,” he added passionately.
School students receiving scholastic materials were equally overjoyed, as were police officers who could now shelter against the sun or rain while upholding the rule of law.
“We have been working out in the open facing inclement weather conditions almost eight years. This is the first time someone has shown us such care,” Deng Wol Deng, a traffic policeman, said.
For his part, Major Mohsin, Commanding Officer of the Bangladeshi peacekeepers, says he believes such interactions are vital in boosting trust and confidence of the local populace.
“I know that our interventions aren’t huge but they go a long way in assuring host communities that UNMISS is committed to improving their lives while protecting them from violence,” averred the Major.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).