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This is not our war, we were told

“We did not bring you here; we did not cause war in your country, don't disturb us” we were told... Laments Nyoka, one of the refugees in Kiryandongo camp – Uganda- April 2017

The pleasant and cool morning of Kampala quickly turned into a hot and windy day as we drove towards Kiryandongo – MagaMaga Refugee Camp in Bweyale – Uganda. After a short ladies chitchat with the team, we began updating each other on the latest news from home (South Sudan) and as it had been since July 2016, no good news comes from South Sudan apart from the news of attacks, killings, rapes and exodus of the people from their villages. “My heart always drops, whenever I see an incoming call from South Sudan,” said one of my colleagues. It's the obvious sad news; we have all had the same experience. Suddenly we were all quiet, lost in our thoughts as we try to visualize what lies ahead of us.

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South Sudan Localizes the UNSCR 1325 - May 2015

EVE Organization for Women Development in collaboration with the Global Network of Women Peace-builders – GNWP launched the localization project of the UNSCR 1325 in South Sudan.  The localization will be implemented in five states in South Sudan namely Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Western Bahr El Ghazal (WBGS) and Jongolei state.

The project commenced in May 2015 with the Train the trainer (TTT) workshop in Juba with participants drawn from the five states including civil society Organizations and government officials. Two other localization consultative workshops were conducted in Yei in Central Equatoria and Torit in Eastern Equatoria state. Similar consultative workshops will be conducted in WBGS –Wau, Western Equatoria – Yambio and Jongolei state – Bor.

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Girl Ambassadors for Peace Program – South Sudan May 2015

 “I’ve never discerned that early and forced marriages was this serious in my country until I met these young girls from Eastern Equatoria, my own state and my heart sung”…. Rita M. Lopidia the Executive Director of EVE Organization.The Girl Ambassadors for peace program; an initiative of GNWP was launched in collaboration with EVE Organization and Generation in Action (GIA) in South Sudan’s Eastern  Equatoria state in May 2015. As part of EVE’s youth leadership program, the Girl Ambassadors for Peace program enhances the potential of young women and girls in conflict-affected countries and has a catalytic effect on local communities.

It aims to: develop leadership skills among young women and girls; raise awareness of young women and girls on their rights and enhance their abilities to assert such rights and contribute to peace building in local communities using UNSCR 1325, 1820 and the supporting Women and Peace and Security Resolutions as policy frameworks. The program entails a series of trainings for these young girls to become peace ambassadors. After the trainings, the girls then travel to villages to share with the young women and girls about the importance of women’s rights and participation in decision making at the communities level, peace building and dialogue.

In the context of South Sudan, Girls Education is hindered by a number of challenges including poverty, the long decades of war, cultural practices, family preference of boys to go to school and girls stay home to do house chores and babysit, early pregnancies, early and forced marriages, girl compensation among other factors. According to statistics only 16% of women over 15 years are literate.

During the launch in Torit – Eastern Equatoria, the girls shared their stories and the challenges they face daily. One participant shared her story and said, “I got pregnant when I was 15yrs old and by the time I turned 18yrs, I already had three kids. It is tough and I am struggling to bring them up; if only we had this kind of training earlier, I wouldn't have gotten into what I am in today; but now that I know, I will dedicate my time to speak to the younger girls not to follow my footsteps”.  Another 18yrs old participant who has completed high school and aspiring to join the University said, “when I go to my village; I am being mocked and ridiculed by my age mates, they call me barren because at my age I didn't have a baby while they do, there is a lot of peer pressure in the village. Now I avoid the village because of that”. Rita M. Lopidia; the Executive Director of EVE Organization also shared with the girls her struggle growing up in Khartoum during the civil war and how she persevered to hold on to school to succeed in life. She encouraged the girls to speak out and seek support to ensure they finish school.

For change to happen and to see more women in different levels of decision making in this country; a lot of efforts need to be exerted at different levels. Education coupled with awareness raising on the importance of the girl Education, improving livelihood and addressing cultural practices that discriminate against women by implementation of legislations is crucial. These issues need serious attention especially of the state authorities, community leaders, religious leaders, parents and CSOs.

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South Sudan Launches its first UNSCR 1325 National Action for Women, Peace and Security

South Sudan launches its first UNSCR 1325 National Action Plan for Women, Peace and Security.“Right before the independence of South Sudan in 2011, we saw the need for UNSCR 1325 NAP for South Sudan” Rita M. Lopidia, the Executive Director of EVE Organization for Women Development – South Sudan.The long awaited South Sudan UNSCR 1325 National Action has finally been launched on the 10 May 2016 in Juba South Sudan. Today; South Sudan can be counted among the 60 plus member states that have developed UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans.The development of the South Sudan UNSCR 1325 started in early 2012; a process that was initiated by South Sudan’s Women Civil society Organizations together with the National Ministry of Gender, Child and Social welfare.

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  Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference (SCBC) Compound – PALICA,
Opposite Sacred Heart Sisters Kindergarten

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Organization for Women Development

EVE Organization was founded with the aim of empowering women and addressing challenges that hinder women’s progress in South Sudan. Empowering women involves advocating for policy changes that will adequately address women’s concerns, ensure women’s peace and security and socio-economic stability, and also support their participation and inclusion in decision making and peace processes.
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