WOW! What a welcome we received at the SVP Community Development Centre at Luluggu. Wait until you see the video! The road from the gates right up to the Centre itself was lined with young people singing and we were dressed in formal tribal shawls and beads. I was invited to cut the ribbon to open the new meeting hall and realised that there was a TV camera there again. I hope that my face didn’t show the embarrassment I felt at being treated in this way. (probably a surprise to people who know me).
The serious shortage of technicians and a skilled labour force in South Sudan was identified as an opportunity for the SVP to help people of working-age. These people are made up of school dropouts, street boys, ex war combats and other unskilled adults. Through this program, the following objectives have been achieved:
- To develop human capabilities of working age people to be productive.
- To provide them with necessary skills to perform professional occupations in the labor market.
- To strengthen values of equal rights, justice, fair and equal social responsibility and participation, non-discrimination and equal treatment among men and women.
By creating jobs the SVP not only changed the lives of beneficiaries, but have responded to economic and social needs of development and stability in the new country.
The training disciplines are: Roofing and plumping, Computer repairs, Welding, Refrigeration, First aid, Administration, secretariat and office management, Child-care training (small scale training for women). Business management, Agriculture and agribusiness.
Since the start of the programme in September 2009 the total number trained is 1,215. Of these 1,137 graduated, 670 (58.9%), are confirmed to have found jobs or started their own business.
The government now recommends that we change to a technical school instead of VT centre. They also request an expansion training programs to other states. It is clear that the Centre has changed the lives of graduates, families and communities. It is also responding to economic and social needs of development and is creating stability in the region irrespective of gender or tribe.
Other Community development projects include:
- Primary school/child care facility for children 5-7 years old, 500 children.
- Baby feeding program for 520 under five infants. (Thousands of babies can’t benefit due to shortage of funds)
- Adult education program adults. 60 graduate yearly if funds are available.
- Health awareness campaign and health education. (120 yearly)
On our return to Juba we met with the Archbishop of Juba; a lovely man with a wicked sense of humour. After each of us had taken pains to introduced ourselves with some seriousness he said with a smile: “I know I’ve seen you on the TV news! Tomorrow is going to be a long day starting at 7-00 with a 3 hour drive each way to see the Green tree project and Nimule nursery, beneficiary fields and demonstration farm at Moli. This is followed by a farewell meeting.
Dear reader on Sunday we start our journey home with an overnight at Addis Ababa so I’ll finish my blog on Tuesday.