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South Sudan: New Country, New Beginnings

Published 07/07/2011 by Global Communities

South Sudan: New Country, New Beginnings
As South Sudan prepares to become the world’s newest nation this Saturday, July 9, most headlines remain focused on the violence that has engulfed the region recently. Meanwhile, distant from the catchy headlines and unaware of the broader issues – such as defining final borders or splitting oil revenues – many South Sudanese are just hoping for a new beginning. 

Dudu Joseph, Lobonok Mayam
After losing her husband, Dudu Joseph fled Sudan with her children and took refuge in Uganda. She recently returned to her homeland in Yapa Village, Lobonok, in Juba County, South Sudan, after 17 years in exile. At first, Dudu found life difficult because she lacked the means to support the family.
Through CHF’s Asset Building Group (ABG) project, Dudu was able to generate income and to start a new life. “Our ABG is helping us understand and collect assets together for development. We can now generate income as a group and as individuals to buy salt and soap,” explains Dudu. “Before the ABG training, only men were making household decisions, but the training we received from CHF taught all of us to practice sharing our household assets. Now when we want to sell any asset in house and groups, we discuss this as group and at household level.”

Khemis Jada, Lyria Payam
Another returnee, Khemis Jada had spent the last 20 years in Uganda before moving back to his village, in Ngulere Boma, in 2008. With no income or savings, he was also unable to provide for his family. “When I arrived from exile life was difficult, as there was no food, shelter and we had to start new life from nowhere,” Khemis recalls. “We formed an asset building group of twelve members, we received inputs in form of assorted shop items like sugar, soap, salt, onion, beans, and cooking oil, to mention a few. Our group operates a rotational shop attendance roster of two days per person and all money received is given to our treasurer. We have monthly meetings to discuss how the business is doing and also how we can share profits gained and what percentage to plough back into the business.”
With these profits, Khemis and other members of his group were able to build a grass thatched house, where he currently lives with his wife and three children.

Margaret Lipu, Lobonok Payam
Nineteen-year-old Margaret Lipu, of Luwala Boma in Lobonok Payam, came back from exile in Uganda and joined CHF International Vocational Training Center in 2010.
“I became pregnant when I was 16 years old dropped out of school. When we returned to Sudan in 2009, I could not afford the school fees and my daughter Nancy was still small. As the father of my daughter abandoned me, I had to continue living with my parents. When it came to education, I knew my future was gone. But then CHF started this program and now with the tailoring skills I have gained, I will be able to raise some money for the upbringing of my daughter Nancy and help with the education of my other young siblings.”

Alima Emmanuel, Liriya Payam
Despite the brutal civil war that ravaged most of her country and destroyed her village, Alima Emmanuel never left her home in Liriya Payam, even after losing husband. During the war, the boreholes, which were the only source of water for Alima and her surviving family members, were completely destroyed. With no access to clean water, Alima and her family had to walk for three hours looking for streams that were not protected or used by wild animals. On such a trip in search of water, one of her children was abducted.
Fortunately, all this changed recently. “CHF brought water closer to my house, now I just open the tap and clean water comes out of it. It’s a miracle. I have been able to open a small shop to sell sorghum beer. My children can even fill their bottles with clean water when they go to school. They are now safe. We are safe from epidemics, such as cholera. Now that we have water, we can start building latrines and stop diseases from spreading. I have started digging mine and will soon be able to complete it.”