South Sudan Newsletter - May 2017
This is a regular newsletter about assistance to the people of South Sudan from the American people.

USAID Health Project Gives Hope to People Living with HIV

Abraham Charles Zinone with his son, Abraham Junior, and wife Merry, whose health improved after receiving care through a USAID health project in Western Equatoria. Photo: Patrick Ochira/Jhpiego

Devastating conflict has resulted in a breakdown in South Sudan’s health system, affecting hundreds of people living with HIV who can no longer replenish their supplies of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs.

Members of one South Sudanese family—Abraham Charles Zinone, his wife Merry and their young son Abraham Junior—are all HIV-positive. Merry is also epileptic. In September 2015, the Source Yubu Health Center they had depended on for health care in Western Equatoria was looted by combatants, rendering it inoperable. Abraham Junior became very ill and needed urgent medical care. Abraham Senior, who didn’t have enough money to feed his family, was faced with the threat of his son dying.

Through USAID and Jhpiego’s Strengthening the Provision of Primary Health Care Project, Abraham received care for his ailing son and wife in nearby Kpotonayo. Abraham, Merry and their son are among more than 70,000 people who have received services from the project since it started in June 2015 in Western and Central Equatoria.

More than 2,000 patients have tested positive for HIV and started antiretroviral care, including Abraham Junior. 

“Since we started taking our ARVs, my wife is now okay and the boy is able to walk and he is even eating well,” said Abraham, who has been working to support his family.

Creating Safe Spaces for Conflict-Affected Children

Children are uniquely impacted by  violence and protection concerns . Photo:  Nonviolent Peaceforce

In January, USAID partner Nonviolent Peaceforce began efforts to support vulnerable conflict-displaced populations sheltering in Leer town, in legacy Unity State. Nonviolent Peaceforce provided support to Women in Action, a local community-based organization, to develop child-friendly spaces and engage with traumatized children.

Nonviolent Peaceforce introduced Women in Action staff to six games that address issues including community protection, identification of vulnerable people, mine risk education and sequential learning for young children. They also demonstrated methods to teach children critical life skills through play and ways to facilitate discussions afterward, increasing how much the children learn from the activities.   

“These activities will help the children learn by playing,” said Gatluak, a Women in Action volunteer. “We don’t always need to be talking to them to teach; sometimes they learn by doing.”

Community Radio Improves Lives in Kapoeta

An announcer in Singaita FM studio. Photo: Internews
The people of Kapoeta area lacked a credible source of news and information until USAID-supported Singaita FM community radio went on air in May 2016. 

It now reaches a local population of 93,000 people. 

“This is the only radio station in Kapoeta. Many people listen, maybe 90 percent of the population. The programs are entertaining and they educate our community,” said Lele Margate, a Singaita FM listener.  

“Singaita FM makes us aware of what is happening in our community and the journalists are reporting from different places across the state,” said another regular listener, Adam Mulamu. 

Singaita FM is one of seven stations in The Radio Community network of local radio stations supported by USAID through Internews.  

“Singaita FM has an important role to play. The radio station’s programs allow us to have a channel of communication with local communities. We can work with the radio station to increase awareness about the work we do as an organization—for example, it was important for us to be able to explain how we reach people in need throughout the community to distribute relief food supplies,” said David Muchai, an aid worker based in Kapoeta. 

Meet Our Staff:  Acting Education Office Director Wendy Wheaton

In her own words:  “Working in South Sudan on education at this time is truly a life-saving endeavor, with 72 percent of the country's children and youth (8.6 million) exposed to direct or indirect effects of relentless armed conflict that has now spread to all corners of the country," Ms. Wheaton said.

"USAID-supported education projects in South Sudan have a direct and meaningful impact on the well-being and learning potential of children and youth displaced by the war in South Sudan because the learning has followed them and set up where they feel safe.

Teaching English, math, local language is not enough—it needs to happen alongside social-emotional skills, teaching empathy across ethic divides, integrating exercises in self-efficacy, self-esteem and inter-group conflict mitigation.

USAID/South Sudan Acting Education Office Director Wendy Wheaton with children at the Protection of Civilians site in Juba. Photo:  Victor Lugala

The resilience in children and youth is consistently astounding and that gives me great hope for South Sudan.”

New Fact Sheet and Map on U.S. Humanitarian Assistance to People of South Sudan

Have you seen our latest fact sheet and map on U.S. humanitarian assistance? Click here

USAID Team Visits Wildlife Protection and Community Support Activities in Boma National Park

On May 12,  a USAID team visited Boma National Park to oversee activities of the USAID-supported Boma-Jonglei-Equatoria Landscape project implemented by the Wildlife Conservation Society. Representatives of the community in Nyat, eastern Boma, told the team the project is having a positive impact on their community through employment opportunities, security and protecting wildlife in the area. 

  USAID Mission Director Jeff Bakken, center, and Economic Growth Team Leader Paul Richardson, right, speak with a member of the community in Boma area. Photo: Albert Schenk/WCS

Thousands in Aweil Participate in Peace Run

As part of USAID’s efforts to strengthen ties between communities in Northern Bahr el Ghazal region, USAID provided logistical and operational support to a local nongovernmental organization, Nilo Sport, to organize an 8 kilometer run through Aweil town on February 25.

Nilo Sport registered over 1,000 participants prior to the event. On the day of the race, though, an estimated 3,000 participants took part, including over 300 female competitors. The streets were lined with hundreds of cheering supporters.

Activities such as the Aweil Run for Peace provide local youth constructive alternatives to being mobilized for violence.

“In sports, we have no tribes and boundaries. We can get together with everyone. When I was in 

Participants starting the Run for Peace from Freedom Square in Aweil. Photo:  Malual Kueth

Juba, I shared a house with three other girls who are not from Aweil, and it was sports that brought us together,” said Ayen Akol, the female winner of the Aweil Run for Peace.

 USAID South Sudan ||