Decades of war have torn apart the social fabric of South Sudan, leaving both individuals and the whole society deeply traumatised. Together with our local partners, we work towards restoring mutual trust, strengthening relationships and offering new future possibilities. We provide trauma healing therapies and self-help groups to improve personal psychological wellbeing. We support language classes and micro-finance opportunities to rebuild livelihoods and we facilitate conflict transformation and peacebuilding initiatives to rebuild societies.

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+/- € 320.000

Budget

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9

Local partners

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4.800

Participants activities

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21.000

Indirect reach

A traumatised country

In South Sudan, a country where recurring armed conflicts, constant threats of violence and stagnating economic development are a daily reality, change happens slowly. While key leaders signed a peace treaty in 2018 and certain regions are slowly stabilising, there is still scepticism as many agreements have been broken in the past.

During the war, children were recruited as soldiers, sexual violence against women and girls was rampant and people were executed without due process. The ongoing conflict has resulted in severe trauma in the South Sudanese population, both as individuals and as a community. Many South Sudanese suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety disorders. There is a deep level of mistrust between people and (domestic) violence is fuelled by alcohol and drug use. 66% of the population lives below the poverty line and more than 70% of adults are illiterate. Millions of people still reside in refugee camps both in South Sudan and neighbouring countries.


The ongoing conflict has resulted in severe trauma in the South Sudanese population, both as individuals and as a community.

Our response

Alongside our nine local partners, we are working in specific regions to rebuild the social fabric of the community, focusing on both the individual and the collective. We do this through:

Trauma healing
Trauma healing primarily centres around the individual, rediscovering oneself, understanding what happened and learning how to deal with it. Both individual counselling and group therapy can aid in trauma healing. To ensure people receive the help that meets their needs, we collaborate with the University of South Sudan. The university is researching the impact of the current methods and how they can be made more effective and culturally appropriate.

Restoring social cohesion
We aim to restore social cohesion by initiating or supporting local ‘self-help’ groups that focus on improving people’s emotional, social and financial wellbeing. Trained local volunteers known as Care Providers run the groups and are often the first point of contact for personal problems. They also mediate in more serious interpersonal conflicts and even in criminal cases, as the local judicial system can be unreliable.

Rebuilding livelihoods
In all regions, socio-economic development has proven to be a crucial aspect of restoring self-esteem and getting lives back on track. That is why we provide literacy classes necessary to (re)build livelihoods and support economic initiatives such as small-scale micro-credit projects and saving and loan plans.

Working towards peace
We support peace initiatives in the conflict-ridden region of Malakal, where we work with local and national religious leaders to initiate “peace dialogue” meetings. These are held with people from various social and ethnic groups and are aimed at conflict transformation and the next steps towards regional peace. We also provide human rights and peace training for soldiers to improve the relationship between soldiers and civilians.

We provide trauma healing therapies and self-help groups to improve personal psychological wellbeing.

“We have learned to be forgiving and to listen. We have become so good at this [counselling] that people now prefer to come to us rather than go to the police. Because we solve things in a better and faster way.” – Care Providers in Wau

 

Together with our local partners, Mensen met een Missie has managed to:

  • Train 22 people to become volunteer care providers and provide further trauma healing training to 84 existing care providers.
  • Provide individual trauma counselling to over 600 people.
  • Train and organise 25 influential leaders in Malakal to play an active role in effectively addressing the regional tensions.
  • Provide literacy classes to 450 people in five communities.
  • Reach nearly 8,000 people, positively affecting the lives of over 4,000 men, 2,000 women and 1,600 children.

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