Promoting access to livelihoods and inclusive financing for conflict affected women and girls in South Sudan

Date: Thursday, July 20, 2017

With funding support from the Government of Germany, UN Women in collaboration with the Yambio State Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Agriculture concluded a weeklong training on production of seven high-valued vegetables. There was also a formation of a community managed micro finance in Yambio, South Sudan on 11th April 2017.

South Sudan
Practical Vegetable Production Training in Yambio facilitated by the Ministry of Agriculture Staff

The agricultural training, which targeted 50 women farmers from Gangura, distributed 50 grams each of the seven vegetables seeds: tomato, eggplant, sweet pepper, amaranthus, onion, carrot and onion per beneficiary.  The Ministry of Gender and Agriculture facilitated the distribution of the remaining seeds to additional 150 farmers to promote women farmers to access land and engage in large scale vegetable production.

Among were also 60 business women from Gangura who went through a training on community managed micro finance, popularly known as VSLA. During the training, the two groups which comprised of 30 members each, elected their leader, developed their constitutions and were also able to mobilize a total savings of 5,150 SSP at their first meeting. UN Women provided a revolving fund of 60,000 SSP to the two groups, each receiving 30,000 SSP and VSLA kits. This helped to accelerate the lending and saving activities.
South Sudan
Participants Practicing their first VSLA meeting in Yambio

General of the State Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare, Hon. Justin Ebere Ginana expressed appreciation to the Government of Germany and UN Women for promoting livelihood and access to community managed financial services to the women of Yambio. “Though one may say it is too early to start development interventions, we cannot wait for absolute peace to prevail before life changing projects are implemented. Yambio is endowed with natural resources, the land is so fertile to produce any crop so we will continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Agriculture to boost food and vegetable crop production as a way of addressing food insecurity and promoting self-reliance, for women and girls”, Hon. Ginana noted.

The Director General of Agriculture, Hon. Marcelo Constantino, indicated that the ministry has increased the number of women in agriculture as both farmers and staff of the Ministry. He mentioned that the Ministry of Agriculture plans to send female agricultural staff to Ethiopia for capacity strengthening training to reach out to more women farmers to get them into more vibrant cooperatives.

While speaking on behalf of UN Women, Ms. Rukaya Mohammed, UN Women Programme Specialist, reported that the intervention is part of a four-year support from the Government of Germany targeting four counties: Yambio, Mundri, Turalay and Wulu. The project aims at promoting resilience, self-reliance and social cohesion among women and girls affected by conflict. “If a woman is economically empowered, the entire household will benefit, that is why UN Women uses women as entry points to community development. The expansion of the initiative depends on the success of this pilot intervention”, Ms. Mohammed added.

In response, the chairlady from Gangura group expressed appreciation to UN Women, the Government of Germany and the Government of South Sudan for the support, “We have been very weak economically and emotionally but this training and material support has empowered us. We will work together to ensure the groups are functional in order to improve our lives so that you will be motivated to expand the support to more women and girls. We encourage you not to forget us but continue to visit and monitor our progress”.