As security in Tambura slowly improves, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is building skills among members of the conflict-affected community

1 Nearly a year after a massive outbreak of violence in the greater Tambura region of western Equatoria that displaced tens of thousands of people and left many others dead or injured, calm is gradually returning.

2 and stability.

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3 However, much remains to be done to ensure that community members begin the recovery process and regain their trust.

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4 Recognizing that the trauma of past violence is still fresh in people’s minds, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) continues its efforts to promote reconciliation, protect communities and build peace .

5 here permanently.

6 A recent initiative by the UN peacekeeping mission and local implementing partner, the Anika Women’s Organization, brought together some 60 displaced people for three months of training.

7 Forty women and 20 men learned the intricacies of cosmetics production, beekeeping, conflict mitigation and financial management.

8 The goal: to empower those affected by conflict to gain economic independence, increase their resilience and develop them into local ambassadors of peace and progress.

9 The participants appreciate the efforts of the mission, as expressed by Ngpai Lilian, 28, whose husband was murdered last year.

10 This young widow has two children and what she has learned in these 90 days will enable her to raise them.

11 “I am full of gratitude to the Anika Women’s Organization and our international friend, UNMISS,” said Ngpadai.

12 “Now I know how to make soaps, lotions and shampoos and I am looking forward to starting my own business and raising my children well,” she proudly adds.

13 Ngbapai is not the only one who sees a better and more prosperous future thanks to these workshops.

14 Vincent Arkangelo, a father of four, had fled South Sudan during previous civil wars and did not return to his native village in Western Equatoria until August 2021.

15 Unfortunately, soon after his return Vincent and his family found themselves once again trapped in the confusion.

16 But now this initiative has given him hope as he has become an experienced beekeeper.

17 “The experience I have gained in modern beekeeping will help me support my children and I promise to pass my knowledge on to others in the community who were unable to benefit from this training.

18 Beekeeping is now my source of income and hopefully the honey I harvest will soon be sold on the market,” she says with a smile.

19 It’s such candid testimonials that make Amelia Yabang, executive director of the Anika Women’s Association, feel that she and her colleagues are doing valuable work.

20 “The women empowered by this livelihood training will become ambassadors of lasting peace and beacon of hope for their communities in the future,” she says.

21 “We are grateful that UNMISS has given us the privilege to collaborate on this special project that has had a hugely positive impact,” she added.

22 For his part, the State Minister for Youth and Sports, David Simbi, emphasized the beneficial impact of these types of initiatives on young people in the state, given the widespread unemployment.

23 “It is my greatest wish that all beneficiaries of this program use what they have learned to suppress the culture of war and empower themselves and other members of the community.

24 To help young people start their own businesses, the state government has decided to introduce loans for young entrepreneurs as we believe it will contribute to progress and development in Western Equatoria,” said Minister Simbi.

25 UNMISS hopes this project will give new impetus to the pursuit of lasting peace and promote community stability and resilience.

26 “Such projects aim to support socio-economic development in Western Equatoria and thus contribute to the overall recovery and prosperity in South Sudan,” reveals Christopher Murenga, head of the mission’s field office in Yambio.

27 However, the effects of the conflict in Tambura are still visible and many people continue to seek refuge in IDP camps.

28 But with a little help from international friends, the communities here are slowly finding their way to a more peaceful future.

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