C 19Outreach

 

What is the Project?

To protect civilians from violence and vulnerabilities as result of or exacerbated by COVID-19, NP has launched a project funded by USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) in Juba, South Sudan.   

To improve awareness on COVID-19 and related protection concerns, NP is working with four outreach workers to reach even deeper into Juba internally displaced persons (IDP) camps. Project outreach workers in each site will lead this effort by patrolling and raising awareness on COVID-19 and related protection concerns, including gender-based violence (GBV), as well as gathering information to plan for further activities on specific protections issues created or enhanced by the current pandemic. Juba is South Sudan’s highest densely populated urban area. In spite the fact that many partners engaging in the area, awareness on COVID-19 has been very low in the city, resulting in lack of attention to preventive measures such as social distancing.  >>> Read more about the project launch >>>

You can follow the outreach workers on this new project by keeping up with their monthly diary entries! 

December - January Diaires *NEW*

Peter Conducts Training in Mahad IDP CampPeter Conducts Training in Mahad IDP Camp, South Sudan 2020.

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 Rose* (New Site):

Today I did a patrol at the Jodoki area where I met with youth and women to share information about COVID-19 and the importance of good hygiene and proper sanitation. Once I shared this information, I was able to work with the community to ensure they had access to a clean, safe water point. In addition, the fact that there is only one place to access water has started conflicts. One water point was meant to serve 8,000 people! As a community, we held a training about Gender-Based Violence and conflict to address this issue. People were excited and we are starting to see changes in how people address this time at the water point. 

 

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Peter (Mahad IDP Camp):

Today while I was doing patrol, I was reminded of how poor the sanitation is at the camp. The latrines are in need of plastic sheeting for proper sanitation and the water points must be kept clean. There are many conditions required for positive peace, for everybody to have their needs met and feel a sense of well-being. As a protection worker with Nonviolent Peaceforce, I can help the community members make sure their needs are being met and everyone can stay healthy. This activity helps lay the groundwork for peace to be built.

 

November - December Diaires *NEW*

NPSS_JUBA_COVID_Response_-_Patrol_Rose_New_Site_27_Oct_2020_4.jpgSimon, one of NP’s COVID-19 Outreach Workers, shares sanitation information, South Sudan 2020.

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 Rose* (New Site):

A central part of the work I do as an NP outreach worker is raising awareness about child marriage. Our Women’s Protection Teams (WPTs) have played a large role in teaching parents and communities about the effects of child marriage and encouraging girls to stay in school and complete their education. The Women’s Protection Teams do not want their daughters to experience the same problems they faced as a result of early and forced marriage. 

Today, I met with a number of women who were married at an early age. They shared with me the problems they faced as a result of that decision their parents made. When a younger person marries an older person, there is often a significant power imbalance. We often see that the older person begins to control the movement of the younger person. I also met with a child who was given for marriage at a young age so that her parents could be paid dowries. Many women shared that they had difficulty giving birth due to their young age, or they could not properly take care of their children at such a young age. In my conversations with them, I encouraged them to speak up and get themselves involved in activities where they help reduce child marriage and GBV in the community. At NP we support the WPTs in conducting awareness raising in their communities and advocating for girls to be given the time to develop before they get married and start families. 

NP did trainings for the women on the causes of GBV and strategies for preventing it. The community appreciate the trainings NP has given that have helped to reduce fights in their families, especially trainings on controlling anger and resolving conflicts peacefully. The community also requested NP to continue working with the people in New Site to give them more trainings on prevention of domestic violence and the women requested NP to consider giving them life skill trainings for them to be financially independent and be able to take care of their extended families.

 

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Peter (Mahad IDP Camp):

Food-related scarcity has been causing a lot of problems in the IDP camps. Yesterday, during a food distribution, the rain ruined all of the sorghum, salt and cowpeas, raising tensions when people went home without their rations. And the week before that, some IDPs attacked their neighbor for stealing their goat, though they were not certain that their neighbors were the culprit. 

I have seen that the IDPs in Mahad are yearning for relocation in order to be given space where they can grow green vegetables for their survival and avoid disturbance from host communities. I am happy that people are planning to do something to overcome the situation of food scarcity in the camp here and improve their livelihood. I encouraged them to take vegetable farming seriously because it will open a gateway for them to start a vegetable business to support their economy. 

While NP can help to get displaced people the food and provisions they need, and address related conflict, we also know that when conflict stops people can stay home and continue to cultivate the land they are on undisturbed. This work makes me aware of the importance of addressing conflict before people are displaced.

 

 

 

 

October - November Diaires *NEW*

NPSS_JUBA_COVID_Response_-_Patrol_Rose_New_Site_27_Oct_2020_4.jpgRose, one of NP’s COVID-19 Outreach Workers, patrols in New Site, South Sudan 2020.

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Peter (Mahad IDP Camp):

The people in Mahad camp are beginning to apply the knowledge they have gotten from Nonviolent Peaceforce’s trainings and workshops. Prior to our trainings, people would often fight during food distribution or other times that resources were scarce. In the last week, there was not a single day that people fought during distribution or in any other circumstance. I think it is pretty clear that we are seeing this change because of NP’s work. 

 

AAkur* (Mahad IDP Camp):

The entire community gathered to participate in a workshop around domestic violence impacting children, mostly girls. Before NP brought all these people together, the community did not have a space for this important conversation and dialogue between different genders and ages. Now, we have built trust between NP and the community and iis clear that the community has everything they need to find a solution, if given the space to discuss freely. My work with NP is opening the space for communities to solve their own problems with the tools they already have. 

 

  September - October Diaires

 

Women Leaders in Mahad Camp Participate in a peacebuilding session with Nonviolent Peaceforce outreach workers | NP 2020Women Leaders in Mahad Camp Participate in a peacebuilding session with Nonviolent Peaceforce outreach workers | NP 2020  

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 Simon** (Mangaten IDP Camp):

My day was difficult. I met with a lot of vulnerable people who were weeping because they are not registered in the camp. They told me that during the registration, the people in charge did not reach everybody. It made me really sad to know that people need to be registered to access material support, but the majority of the disabled people were not registered because the people in charge did not reach the entire camp.

On the bright side, I observed a discussion about abolishing violence against women and girls and promoting gender equality. The majority of the community is agreeing to leave violence and promote peace. I really feel very happy because the community is longing for peace.

 

AAkur* (Mahad IDP Camp):

The most memorable thing that happened to me was the reaction of the community towards NP and how open everyone is to speaking with me. Today I met with youth leaders and discussed many things concerning how the pandemic outbreak is impacting youth, especially in terms of unexpected marriages and pregnancies among school-going girls. The discussion of the leaders and the community was exciting to me because it really helped me to understand the community and the challenges facing them in full detail. I observed that the community needs changes in the form of awareness raising, especially among men. Unfortunately, they are not found in their homes during the day hours, so they are more difficult to reach and build relationships with.

Outside of conversations, I spent a lot of time on patrols getting to know people in the camp and their needs better. I observed that the community really needs change in the form of facilities, clean waterpoints, learning facilities, suitable space for the youth to learn and sufficient food for the IDPs and the new arrivals as well. All of these changes can help support people who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and help build peace.

 

August - September Diaires

 

Photo: The Niles | Bullen CholMahad IDP centre in Juba, South Sudan. Photo: The Niles | Bullen Chol  

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Peter (Mahad IDP Camp):

August was my first month as an outreach worker in an IDP Camp right in Juba—the capital—of South Sudan. My job is to go out into the Mahad IDP Camp and make sure everyone understands ways to prevent COVID-19. Immediately, I understood that there is a spirit of outstanding respect of human rights at Nonviolent Peaceforce, just as the name suggests.

Already on my first day, I enjoyed working in Camp. I met with more than 20 households that day, sharing COVID-19 safety information. After I shared information with them, they were able to share with me some of the things that they needed: plastic sheets, food for their animals, medication for things like T.B. and hepatitis B—necessities. Without these basics, I understood how vulnerable they are and how COVID-19 has heightened their vulnerability.  

Over the next few days, I continued to meet with more established residents in the camp, as well as new arrivals of displaced persons. Each day, speaking with more than 100 people, I am making my way around the camp with a population of around 5,000 – 7,000 people (or more).

 

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 Rose* (New Site):

Starting this new program as an outreach worker in an IDP camp in August has been going well so far. I am pleased to see that many leaders in the Camp are requesting washing tanks and face masks to pass along to their families. The conversations I am having such as these are what is allowing us to get the proper information and resources to the people that need them the most.

This work is rewarding, because I can help my community, but there are also some really tough moments. For example, I intervened in a case of gender-based violence at my neighbors’: a husband had beaten his wife because she was not taking care of the children, and the elder child has become the caretaker for the four siblings. Such violence might seem like an isolated event, but this violence is connected to the continued trauma and violence that has been a part of our country for years—and countering violence is how we can move towards a peaceful future.

 
Meet the Outreach Workers

 

AAkur* (Mahad IDP Camp): “I want to change cultural norms in my community, from young children to adults. NP’s work has been very successful and I am so glad to work with NP, so I wanted to join in this position. I hope to be able to support young girls to be the leaders of tomorrow. We cannot be mothers without having an impact in politics, without having an impact in our communities; we hope to make girls leaders and to change our lives to be more positive.” 

 

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 Peter (Mahad IDP Camp): “COVID-19 has brought challenges such as an increase in school dropouts, more people in the streets, and negative effects on the economy—shops are closed and people don’t have enough resources. If fathers are not working, they have no income, facing several protection-related and other challenges. People cannot move around either. I will try to allow NP to get into the community and reach areas impacted by COVID-19 and raise awareness, share information and GBV, child protection, and other challenges.”

 

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 Simon** (Mangaten IDP Camp): “I live in the community, so I wanted to work and help my community. I want to get more information to the people in the community and help them to bring solutions together. COVID-19 has affected Mangaten and the whole of South Sudan: No facilities available, no awareness, no information reaching directly the local community and working together. I hope to promote a link between the community and NP, giving them [my community] more information about protection and promote gender equality. I hope to reflect hard and get more protection for my community.” 

 

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 Rose* (New Site): “When I heard that NP works with protection and GBV, I wanted to work with them to make a change in my community. I hope to change the lives of young girls and the lifestlyle of my community, as well as improve child protection and strengthen parents’ abilities to protect their children.”

  

*Outreach worker is also a part of Community Taskforce
**Outreach worker is also a part of Community Leadership

 

 

 

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