Yambio, 10 August 2018 –The Minister of Trade and Industry Hon. Moses Hassan, together with Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, His Excellency, Seiji Okada, UNDP and UN Women conducted a high level joint visit to Gbudue State to launch and hand-over key project sites supported by the Government of Japan in Yambio.
The delegation formally launched the Yambio Vocational and Livelihoods Multi-Purpose Training Centre, Yambio Women’s Empowerment Centre, and Masia Market.
“We came to Yambio for a few different reasons, to launch each of these locations, which will help build economic opportunities and resilience in Gbudue State. It is the metal workers, tailors, carpenters, welders, mechanics, and other skilled workers, those are the people who will build and develop South Sudan. Our markets are where you can see all that is produced in this beautiful state. There is agriculture potential in this country, which if we can process or add value, not only South Sudan will benefit from these products, but the whole world. And lastly, as we know, women are the backbone of development. The women have been shouldering the responsibility of raising this nation, especially the kids, and if these women are empowered, it means we are empowering the nation as a whole,” said Minister of Trade and Industry Hon. Moses Hassan during opening remarks during a press conference at the Yambio Airport.
The delegation was joined by Gbudue State authorities, including Gbudue State Governor Hon. Daniel Badagbu, and discussed the progress on the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience in Yambio, the sustainability of the completed projects, as well as future plans. The delegation also inspected the solar installation at the Governor’s Office, supported by the Government of Japan and implemented by UNDP.
“During the conflict, Gbudue State had two rebel groups, and so we needed a peace initiative. Now we have peace and all the rebels have been integrated into government. But many may still be easily lured to conflict. Therefore, we need to change their mindset and give them opportunities. We need to empower young people. We have a commitment to peace. And the peace may crack but it will not break. The people in Gbudue State are resilient,” said Governor Badaghu at the opening of the multi-purpose training center.
Working together with UN agencies, development partners, state authorities and the community, the Government of Japan is supporting the Partnership for Recovery and Resilience in Yambio. The partnership aims to rebuild trust in people and institutions, restore productive capacities and, nurture effective partnerships, in order to enhance community coping mechanisms and capacities, including preparedness to shocks. The objective is to help communities recover and build back better.
“We come here with our own experience in Japan, as a country devastated by war 73 years ago. During our rebuilding we really focused on education and industrialization. One can see a lot of things happening recently in South Sudan. Japan is supporting the peace process, and we especially see the importance of the actual implementation of the agreement signed in Khartoum. At the same time, there needs to be a focus on the economic development of this country, on the nation building process. Vocational training and capacity building can really form the basis for industrialization, and as such, I am very proud to be here to open these centres today,” said Ambassador Okada, while meeting with the Governor of Gbudue State and his cabinet.
Yambio Women’s Empowerment Centre
UN Women supported the renovation of the centre, which used to be the Yambio Women Union Centre, prior to the conflict. With funding from the Government of Japan, the centre has been fenced, equipped with furniture and solar lights.
The establishment of Women Empowerment Centres is one of the strategies put in place by UN Women, in partnership with states’ and county governments, to provide safe spaces for women in conflict situations to meet, discuss conflict mitigation issues in their communities, act as referral pathways for sexual and gender based violence, and provide an opportunity for women to earn additional income for their cooperative groups.
“The Women’s Empowerment Centre is a space to come together, to speak, to network, to access services. Women have been supporting and carrying this nation. It is important we give them the skills and the support they need to continue to lead and advocate for peace, as they have always done. We want to empower them with their own economic resilience, and with their own recovery. And when we talk about women, we are talking about their children, their husbands, and their families. We are very proud of this partnership with Gbudue State, and could not have done this without the support from the Government of Japan,” said UN Women Country Representative Olufunmilayo Balogun at the launch of the women’s centre.
Yambio Vocational and Livelihoods Multi-Purpose Training Centre
UNDP renovated the Vocational and Livelihoods Multi-Purpose Training Centre which is located in Yambio town, with the support of the Government of Japan. The centre consists of four classrooms, and a workshop administrative block.
The Training Centre is critical productive community infrastructure designed to help catalyze income-generation and emergency employment opportunities. The long-term objective is to provide skills development for local youth, including both male and female, so they can enter the labour market, as well as start their own businesses.
“Today is not about talking, or planning another mission, but about really delivering services to the people. It’s about constructing and equipping places to learn and acquire skills. Everyone in Yambio will be touched by the outputs from these centres. Today’s mission is a tribute to the people of Yambio: to their hard work, to their commitment to peace, and to the development of their community. This mission is also a tribute to partnership, both between the Government of Japan and the people of South Sudan, and also to the United Nations system,” said UNDP Country Director Kamil Kamaluddeen at the inauguration of the training centre.
UNDP’s rehabilitation of Masia Market targets women who lack proper sheds and stalls for selling vegetables and other farm produce and a butcher shop for both men and women beneficiaries selling meat in Yambio town. The market consists of 34 vegetable stalls, and meat shops.
28 individual women business owners were selected to be allocated stalls and two women’s village savings and loan (VSLA) groups were allocated 4 stalls each for their group businesses. Each VSLA group is comprised of 30 members who were supported with training on farming and agricultural seeds by UN Women through Change Agency Organization (CAO).
Creating synergies, the new Women’s Empowerment Centre, also supported by UN Women, can refer women to the Masia Market, where they can be allocated market stalls, join a VSLA, and engage in income-generating activities. The Yambio Vocational and Livelihoods Multi-Purpose Training Centre will also serve as a venue for entrepreneurship and business skills training for the women operating in Masia Market, including but not limited to: savings and business management; customer care; business expansion; profitability; advertising and product diversification.
The synergy effect, between the centres and the market, is a very important aspect of these projects. Women are an important part of the potential workforce in South Sudan and they are disproportionately affected by the crisis.
For further information, please contact:
Kymberly Bays, Communications Team Leader, UNDP, firstname.lastname@example.org
Proscovia James, UN Women, email@example.com
Takanobu Nakahara, Head of Cooperation and Humanitarian Section, Embassy of Japan in South Sudan, firstname.lastname@example.org