Residents in Ikotos County learn how to identify community projects most suitable for funding

Residents in Ikotos County learn how to identify community projects most suitable for funding

Residents in Ikotos County learn how to identify community projects most suitable for funding

Residents in Ikotos County learn how to identify community projects most suitable for funding

Competition is fierce for money for small-scale quick impact projects funded by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to improve the living conditions of local communities.

So far, residents in Ikotos County have missed out, but following a two-day workshop organized by the peacekeeping mission, that may change.

“Now we better understand the importance of involving women in identifying and implementing projects that could benefit everyone, without leaving us women out,” said Alice Nabol, who returned to South Sudan last year, having spent some time in a refugee camp in neighbouring Uganda.

Ms. Nabol was among the 55 locals participating in the workshop, where community leaders, local authorities and representatives of civil society organizations improved their know-how when it comes to applying for UNMISS funding for community projects.

Those in attendance learnt that initiatives that are inclusive are more likely to receive resources, and the same goes for ideas their entire communities back and are enthusiastic about.

“We need to own our own projects and collaborate closely with UNMISS and other partners. We can help by actively participating in the implementation of these initiatives, by providing security, and in other ways,” said Paul Lomudang, a village chief.

The people of Ikotos County have their relative geographical remoteness working against them, with state capital Torit being far away. Their location, in turn, has led to communities rarely having adequate support infrastructure and access to basic services, making it difficult for national and international development partners to operate in the area.

“Enhancing the capacity and skills of our local partners in Ikotos will play a major role in increasing their chances of landing funding for much-needed development initiatives when we start receiving new project proposals,” explained Christine Fone, who works for the UNMISS Protection, Transition and Reintegration section that is responsible for the peacekeeping mission’s quick impact project programme.

After the workshop, County Commissioner Timon Loboi was upbeat.

“This has been an eye opener for all of us in Ikotos. Now we understand why our previous proposals have not been successful and are much better prepared as we move forward,” he said.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).