During its May monthly meeting with Nonviolent Peaceforce, the Women’s Protection Team in the Bor Protection of Civilians area decided to focus on tackling the high levels of alcohol consumption as a means to mitigate conflict in the area. With so many residents suffering from depression and trauma, alcohol consumption has become a cheap and accessible, albeit negative, coping mechanism.

In response, the Women’s Protection Team resolved to provide direct support, mentorship, and informal case management to those abusing alcohol. In its most recent monthly meeting with Nonviolent Peaceforce, the Women’s Protection Team began sharing stories of its successes and challenges.

One woman recounted how she is supporting an alcoholic young man recently diagnosed with tuberculosis. She ensured that the young man was admitted to the International Rescue Committee (IRC) clinic for proper treatment and that he abstains from alcohol during that time. Since the young man has no relatives in the Protection of Civilians area, she is also volunteering to bring him food while he is recovering.

Another woman explained that she is mentoring an alcoholic woman who is now showing a great willingness to change her behavior and is attending church on a regular basis. Meanwhile, others lamented that they are struggling to make any significant breakthroughs. The people that they are supporting may pledge to stop drinking, but then resume the next day.

While the successes may be few and the changes only incremental at this stage, the women claim the overall level of alcohol consumption has decreased in the past month. In an effort to promote this trend, the women have to continue their case management and continue utilizing the Women’s Peacekeeping Teams as a forum for sharing their stories, discussing mutual challenges, and brainstorming possible solutions.

Follow-up to the June article posted on our website: read it here!

By Nonviolent Peaceforce Office in South Sudan

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