Among the lush greenery of Obbo in Magwi County, live some members of the Acholi tribe, a community with a rich culture and tradition. Female entrepreneur Anyek Rose John is keen to improve the lives of her fellow citizens, and her efforts have not gone unnoticed by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, UNMISS.
“UNMISS acknowledged my vision and provided me with a platform where I could express my opinions and share my ideas,” she says, referring to the peacekeeping mission’s decision to organize this year’s edition of International Women’ Day in Eastern Equatoria State in her beloved home county.
These days, Rose runs a small restaurant. Any leftover profits after sustaining her family and making necessary investments go to supporting other women in her community, not least by organizing capacity building events for them.
That has not always been the case. Like many other South Sudanese women, Rose got married at an early age, getting four children in the process, thus putting an end to her dreams of an advanced education. Being compelled to flee her country because of armed conflict did not help, either, but once she returned home, she insisted on pursuing another of her visions, namely to make a difference for others.
“I’m passionate about promoting women’s involvement in decision making, and also about advocating for women to get access to adult schooling. Education for all is key to making my community thrive,” she says.
Rose can count on support from the UN peacekeeping mission in the country, with it being willing to partner with her to build capacity and skills among her peers. She is, however, fully aware that much more is needed to see her vision of a flourishing village come true.
“There are numerous things that would be helpful, but good roads, for everyone to have easier access to basic services like healthcare and education, would be a great start.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).