May 26, 2021
Eighth ID: 32851
Project Title: Empower 103 households for their livelihoods
The situation of South Sudan
Since 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.
According to UNDP update, South Sudan has 73% illiterate adults, majority of whom are women (84%), 75% of South Sudan population has no access to health services, 43% of the total population is severely food insecure and 1 of 7 women die giving birth. About South Sudan | UNDP in South Sudan
The 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 on 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.
In the last three months of March, April and May 2021, Community Skills Development has provided extension service to the women Farmers, in the support for them to grow ground nuts, Maize and vegetables. The provision of extension service is a catalyst and motivation for the women to work harder. The women work as a team and team work help the women to cultivate large fields than when left in isolation. The single mothers supported by Community have their lives changed to better- before the members used to have single meals a day and now they say they can eat two meals in a day. It is hoped that the women Farmers would continue to use the cultivation and planting skills taught to them to generate more food for their families.
Life history of a single mother
Community Skills Development majorly supports impoverished women in Yambio within Western Equatoria State. Women are at the fore front of our focused programming; to empower for economic activities, 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 but this project only targets 103 households. Community Skills 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 3106 have been produced and distributed. CSD has trained two groups of women farmers at Zambago and Tindoka. In the last three months of March, April and May 2021, our major support activity has been the provision of extension service. 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 but we realize that the actual financial aid we now receive is far less to help the goal.
The single mother
The single mother Asunta only got marriage for a year with the first man and her husband divorced her. Asunta has 11 children with different men and none of the men who have given birth with her takes responsibility of the children and no man is willing to marry her either. Asunta is left with the whole responsibility of feeding and medically treating the 11 children but she is badly defeated in her entire effort to educate the children, therefore, none of her children is in school. The support she gains through farming can only feed the children and send none to school. You can see that these children are not nourished to their expectations, they need more food than they are provided with.
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 11 children have some food to eat and survive although the food isn’t sufficient enough; thanks to globalgiving and our esteemed donors.
Over the last three months from March to May 2021, we have been providing extension services to the women Farmers because this has been the planting period, orienting the women on team work, lobbying with community leaders to provide the women with land for cultivation, training the women farmers in areas of village saving (merit-go-round) and keeping the women farmers groups coordinated. The cost of empowering women farmers each planting season totals to US$ 7,000. If we receive more than that budget, we could then provide for replacement of broken tools, purchase seeds and supportive equipment.
We remain grateful and thanking you very much.
Community Skills Development
Yambio, Gbudwe State South Sudan