January 25, 2021
Seventh ID: 32851
Project Title: Empower 103 households for their livelihoods
The chain of poverty;
Almost a decade after gaining its independence on 9 July 2011, South Sudan remains one of the most under-developed countries in the world. South Sudan has a population of 9.6 million, the majority of whom are young with seventy-two percent below the age of thirty and 83 percent living in rural areas.
Ongoing conflicts have roots in competition over political power and are fueled by poverty, high unemployment, and absence of meaningful economic opportunities for the predominantly youthful population. Youth’s involvement in the civil war is not out of choice but due to lack of options. Youth destitution and lack of empowerment, underpinned by low level of education, limited skills, absence of productive capacities and income generation opportunities are among the principal factors likely to fuel more conflict. Some youth are involved in inter-community and intra-community (inter-clan) conflicts and cattle rustling.
Moving forward, youth are expected to be part of peace consolidation and contribute to economic growth of the country. Labor-absorbing enterprises at the state levels are unable to utilize the local labor force due to lack of employable skills and skills mismatch. The skills deficits can be attributed to decades of conflict which deprived the population opportunities to acquire vital entrepreneurial and livelihood skills needed to participate in the economy of South Sudan today. Demand for livelihood skills far outstrips supply, leaving youth with limited employment opportunities. Skills mismatch and lack of employment opportunities are often two of the leading reasons for high youth unemployment. The skills mismatch includes lack of livelihood skills, vocational & entrepreneurial skills and lack of soft skills; such as communication, ethics, life and social skills (important to building a business network). Youth often not only lack the skills necessary to obtain a job, but their access to jobs is also limited due to limited or lack of access to financial services, land, markets and market information, and lack of social networks through which to facilitate business opportunities.
South Sudan faces one of the world's worst food security situations and endemic poverty with at least 80 percent of the population defined as income-poor and living on equivalent of less than US$1 per day (FAO 2018). South Sudan is the World’s first illiterate Country with the literacy rate at 27.0% (https://www.infoplease.com/world/country-statistics/lowest-literacy-rates).
Again, young females in South Sudan remain severely marginalized with lower education levels and fewer opportunities for work as compared to their male peers. Rural women and girls of reproductive age (13-49 years) have few or no assets and who survive of less than $1 per day.
In Western Equatoria and Yambio in particular, 90 percent of the workforces are involved in agriculture as source of livelihoods. Agriculture is the main source of livelihoods and therefore, support of vulnerable women to produce their food is indeed commendable options. Community Skills Development continue to support two groups of women farmers to grow vegetables by the provision of agricultural inputs and extension services.
Life history of an elderly widow
Community Skills Development majorly supports impoverished women in Yambio within Western Equatoria State. Women are at the fore front of our focused endeavors; to empower, offer them chances to equal opportunities and representation. The total number of our target population is 17,000 Households in Western Equatoria state for various traits of business for resilience. Community Skill Development continues to provide women farmers with agricultural tools, seeds and extension services. Providing scholarship to orphans, unaccompanied children and train another group of women in tailoring skills. The tailoring group has now involved in the manufacture of Face Masks and so far 2000 have been produced and distributed to government officials, health workers, public transfer drivers/riders, women association and women farmers. CSD has trained two groups of women farmers at Zambago and Tindoka. It is our hope to extend this support to the third group of women for farming in Nagori, South of Yambio Town; when we secure additional financial aid.
In 2013 the lady Eva lost her husband due to civil war and left alone to care for her 7 orphans. In 2013 that she was widowed, she was still able to walk well and she would make fried cakes that the children would sale in the streets of Yambio. She was knocked by a motorcyclist when she was returning from the struggle to find food for her orphans. She is crippled and lame. This lady Eva is now living with her other niece who also has three children as a single mother and the total number of people at their homestead is 12 persons. This family is a member of our CSD women farmers benefiting from the aid received through globlagiving. The strength of the women farmers group is a major reason why the 12 household members still survive; thanks to globalgiving and our esteemed donors.
Over the last six months after May 2020, we are able only to provide extension services, purchased fuel to operate irrigation machine, conduct field visits and keep the women farmers groups coordinated. The cost of empowering women farmers each planting season totals to US$ 7,000. We do receive less than US$ 1,000 each season and we do live on the hope to achieve our goal this year 2021. We appreciate your support very much and thank you. Note that your contribution comes towards the support of very poor and vulnerable people who are being oriented and empowered to help themselves.
We remain grateful and thanking you very much.