For South Sudanese women and youth, learning and livelihood opportunities can be hard to come by at the best of times. Add floods and insecurity to the Jonglei context and it becomes even more difficult, but some 60 people in Bor, including 56 women, recently found a chance to both develop new skills and, hopefully, use them to make a living as well.
“I consider myself fortunate to have learnt how to make solid soap, with one bar of it able to fetch up to 2,500 Sounth Sudanese Pounds (roughly 2.50 USD) in the market. I will finally afford to send my children to school,” said Mary Ajak Bol, one of the beneficiaries of three-month long vocational trainings funded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS.
Mary and her fellow trainees, some of whom have learnt to bake bread or manufacture female sanitary products, have been given start-up kits to help them convert their skills into future sources of incomes and hence a bit of financial peace of mind.
“My dream to become less dependent on others is finally coming true. Knowing how to produce these sanitary products makes me a different woman. Making some money myself, I will soon be confident enough to figure out a budget for our household together with my husband,” said Mary Yom Adiet.
Awoi Deng, another graduate, believes that the capacity building spells good news for a significant number of people.
“Any kind of education we are offered is a steppingstone along the way towards the full realization of women’s rights. My entire community will benefit in different ways, not least by seeing positive examples,” she said.
The vocational training programme was undertaken in cooperation with Initiative for Development and Emergency Action, a local non-governmental organization operated by and for youth.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).