EVE Organization advances its support to women empowerment in Lirya County through integrating income-generating activities to its Sexual and Gender based Violence (SGBV) program in South Sudan.
About the project.
This much-needed initiative improved the socio-economic and psychological well being of the survivors of SGBV and the community in general. Launched in November 2015; the project aimed to stimulate change in socio-cultural norms and influence knowledge, attitudes, and behavior change in the community while creating safe space for women survivors of SGBV to interact and support each other through income generating activities. Components of the project included; training of women on SGBV and women leadership in the community based on UNSCR 1325, training of identified counselors to give psychosocial and peer support to survivors of SGBV, training of men on SGBV and their role is addressing SGBV in the community, construction of Lirya Women Resource Center and provision of startup capital to 40 women for small businesses based on activities identified by the women.
This project has strengthened the women association in Lirya and put women at the center of decision making at the local level. Women further formed saving groups with a monthly remittance to a bank account specifically opened for this purpose to help build sustainable livelihood. The small businesses include wholesale and retail grain selling, bread making, butchery, honey harvesting and goat raring.
This pilot project turned out to be an important and an excellent approach in addressing issues of SGBV and poverty in the community. The combination of awareness and practical measures in improving livelihood of the survivors has done remarkable changes in the lives of families in Lirya. Within a few months of the project, significant changes were seen in the lives of women in the communities. Women were able to remit monthly profits into the joint bank account from their businesses. One of the women has this to say;“I was sexually abused by my school head teacher when I was in primary seven and I dropped out.
When I told my family, it was too late as I was already pregnant. I was instead given to the man as a wife. I don’t want my daughter or any other girl I know to go through the same. After the training and the support I was given, I now see life differently. I hope to be a support to girls in my community”For these women in Lyria, this project is a live changing experience. They now have a space to call their own, able to save some money to sustain their businesses and improve their lives. While for EVE Organization; this is a success story that we hope to replicate in other states to change the lives of communities, addressing SGBV while providing alternatives of improving livelihoods. From our experience in Lirya; we figure that it is possible to reduce SGBV prevalence and move communities out of poverty through local initiatives.Support EVE Organization to continue monitoring the progress in Lyria to document lessons learnt.