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Photo Essay: Faces of South Sudan
Published 05/10/2013 by Global Communities
Photo Essay: Faces of South Sudan
As the world’s newest nation, South Sudan is working to overcome more than two decades of civil war and is tackling the challenging process of rebuilding following the loss of an estimated 2 million lives, the displacement of over 4 million inhabitants and an almost total collapse of infrastructure.
Large numbers of internally displaced people and refugees have returned to their homes in South Sudan and straining the already overstretched basic services and minimal level of infrastructure. But in the face of these daunting challenges the people of South Sudan remain resilient. Their hopes buoyed by the pride they take in their newly independent nation and their experience having survived one of the continent’s longest lasting civil wars.
Last month, Senior Program Development Manager, Sohini Sarkar traveled to South Sudan visiting Global Communities’ programs. Her photos help tell the story of communities and people of South Sudan and how Global Communities is helping them to meet these challenges head on.
Women shop owners
With support from the USAID-funded Improving Market Potential for Returnees through Opportunities for Viable Economic development (IMPROVE+) program, these women formed their own group and now run a small store. Within three months, they were making enough profit to save and distribute among themselves.Little girl in front of her home
Years of war and upheaval has had an devastating impact on the education system in South Sudan. Less than 2% of the population has completed a primary school education. The educational challenges are especially acute for girls. South Sudan has proportionately fewer girls going to school than any other country in the world. Only one schoolchild in four is a girl and female illiteracy is the highest in the world.A student takes part in play promoting equal access to education for girls
To improve knowledge of and attitudes towards gender equality from an early age, Global Communities is implementing the Gender Equality through Understanding and Prevention Against Gender-based Violence or GET UP program. Through GET UP, we are working with schools to create Gender Equality Movement (GEM) clubs. The Gender Equality Movement focuses on promoting equal relationships between girls and boys, identifying gender stereotypes in the schools and ways of challenging them, questioning the use of violence and gender based violence in particular. These clubs, comprised of an even number of girls and boys from grades 4 and up, is led by a group of male and female teachers and organize awareness raising events such as games, competitions, plays and debates.Training for midwives and traditional birth attendants dealing with survivors of gender-based violence
Gender-based violence (GBV) against women and girls is an endemic problem in South Sudan. Services for survivors of violence are severely lacking, women and girls have few ways to report violence, and even fewer options for care. However, awareness about the negative impact of gender-based violence is increasing. Working with local partners, Global Communities is building the capacity of service providers like nurses and health care workers to respond to cases of GBV, including providing training in the clinical management of rape. We are also working with local police to train officers in case handling methodology for GBV cases.Girls scouts participate in a Women’s Day March
In celebration of South Sudanese Women¹s Day, more than 600 women and men paraded through the South Sudanese capital of Juba. Sponsored by Global Communities and its local partner, the South Sudan Women’s Empowerment Network (SSWEN), the march was organized to raise awareness of gender issues.School children participate in a Women’s Day March
Students from St. Thomas Nursery and Primary School take part in the South Sudanese Women¹s Day festivities. A boy roasting sweet potatoes
Food security is among the many challenges that South Sudan continues to grapple with. In the face of ongoing conflict, high food prices and the large-scale return of refugee and internally displaced families, millions of people are receiving food and livelihood assistance, including some 670,000 refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs), according to the UN World Food Programme.
Global Communities is working with targeted communities to strengthen food security and support livelihoods through vocational training, agricultural production and market-oriented micro-entrepreneurship.Luom Grass being sold in a market in Mayom County in Unity State
Luom grass is a booming commodity in South Sudan. More than 90% of homes in South Sudan, often referred to as tukuls are mud huts with thatched roofs made with the luom grass. While the simple structures often lack basic amenities and are not durable against major natural disasters, they are easy to construct and relatively cool during the scorching summer season when average temperature hovers around 95 degrees or higher.A Nuer family in front of their tukul in Unity State
A group of young girls posing with their uncle who just returned from a study abroad program. Tertiary education opportunities are extremely limited in South Sudan. With one of the highest illiteracy rates in the world, less than one-third of adults in South Sudan can read and write.Jerry cans lined up at a well
Water supply in Southern Sudan is faced with numerous challenges. About half the population does not have access to clean water. In urban areas like Juba, rapid growth has further strained the water supply. The South Sudanese capital has grown from population of around 60,000 in 2005 to nearly 400,000 in 2011. In rural areas, the situation is even more dire. Water infrastructure is practically non-existent and 38% of the population has to walk for more than 30 minutes one way to collect drinking water while 80% of the population does not have access to toilet facilities.
Global Communities is addressing water and sanitation issues under the IMPROVE + program to mitigate the risks related to poor sanitation, waste disposal, promotion of household sanitation, good personal hygiene. In addition to training communities in appropriate sanitation and hygiene methods, we are providing hygiene promotion kits that include items such as soap and water purification tablets.