Japan Ambassador Participates in Graduation Ceremony in Nimule

Date: Monday, February 20, 2017

Nimule, South Sudan, 6 February, 2017 The Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E. Kiya Masahiko, and UN Women Deputy Country Representative/Officer in Charge, Mr. Lansana Wonneh, in collaboration with the Chief Executive Director of Support for Peace Education and Development (SPEDP), the Director General for Alternative Education Services, Hon. Odur Nelson Hussein and the Pageri County Commissioner, Hon. Emilio Igga Alimas participated in a graduation ceremony in Nimule, Pageri County.

Japana Ambassador

Japanese Ambassador H.E. Kiya Masahiko, UN Women Deputy Country Representative, Lansana Wonneh (right) and Officials of the Government of South Sudan.  Photo: UN Women/Rogers Musyoki

The ceremony which honored 194 graduates (154 F, 39 M) who completed training in various areas including mechanics, tailoring & bedsheet design, and functional literacy wouldn’t have been possible without the financial support from the Government of Japan to a two-year programme managed by UN Women and implemented by five Local NGOs. The programme titled “Responding to Emergency needs of Displaced Women and Host Communities impacted by Conflict in four IDP Camps in South Sudan” seeks to fill critical gender gaps in the humanitarian response and promotes livelihoods, vocational skills, computer and adult literacy and GBV prevention targeting the IDPs and their host communities in Pageri, Awerial and Juba Counties. 

During the event, the UN Women Deputy Country Representative, Mr. Lansana Wonneh used the opportunity to thank the Government of Japan for the support which has contributed to building the resilience of IDPs and host community members affected by conflict whilst at the same time mitigating the incidence and prevalence of Gender-Based Violence in the targeted areas. He congratulated the Support to Peace Education and Development Programme (SPEDP) for the job well done and expressed UN Women’s willingness to work with the organization in the near future.

In his remarks, the Japanese Ambassador to South Sudan, H.E. Masahiko expressed his satisfaction with the results achieved by the programme since it commenced and thanked UN Women and the implementing partners for the noteworthy achievements. H.E. Masahiko committed, on behalf of the Government of Japan, the amount of US$1 million for the continuation and expansion of programme activities. He averred that supporting livelihood interventions provide hope for the future to those targeted individuals their communities and the nation as a whole. He lamented that “Japan was destroyed by war and had no people but the few people who remained had one goal, that is, to rebuild the nation”. He urged graduates to use their skills to contribute to rebuilding South Sudan.

In recognition of their efforts, each graduate received a certificate of achievement and startup kits to encourage them to continue to apply their skills as a means of livelihood.

Japan price

H.E. Kiya Masahiko Congratulating the Graduates during the presentation of Certificates of Achievements.  Photo: UN Women/Rogers Musyoki 

The Chief Executive Officer of SPEDP, Mike Hakim expressed thanks and appreciation to the Government of Japan, UN Women and the Government of South Sudan through the Pageri County Commissioner for the support to the women and girls in Pageri County. He indicated that SPEDP will continue to ensure that the support provided by the Government of Japan reaches the conflict affected women and girls through diverse and innovative programmes.

On his part, the Pageri County Commissioner, Emilio Igga Alimas indicated that the persistent conflicts in South Sudan has affected the social fabric of the County. He urged donors, including the Government of Japan, to continue to support the people of Pageri County in their efforts to promote peace and build self-reliance since the government does not have the capacity to provide jobs for all the people in South Sudan. The Commissioner expressed his satisfaction with the Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) approach which was introduced into this county through this programme and noted that a culture of savings, which has never existed in the county is evolving speedily.

The Director General for the Alternative Education Services of the Ministry of General Education, Hon. Odur Nelson Hussein who also served as the guest of honor said “people with skills: electricians, mechanics, plumbers, who came from the neighboring countries have left South Sudan due to the conflict”. Referring to the graduates, Hon. Hussein commented “This is an opportunity for South Sudanese like you who have learned vocational skills to take over your country”. He announced that the Ministry of General Education will support the enrolment of 100 students to undergo adult literacy in the SPEDP Centre starting in April, 2017.

While speaking on behalf of beneficiaries, Mr. Joseph Dau from Melijo IDP Site called for continuity of the adult literacy programme to enable beneficiaries sharpen their reading and writing skills.