UNMISS Civilian And Military Peacekeepers Encourage Entrepreneurship Among Displaced Women In Bentiu

[Aug. 28, 2020: Jacob Ruai]



QUITO, Ecuador — Julio Mora slipped away from his parents to secretly marry In a bid to motivate displaced women towards becoming entrepreneurs, UNMISS peacekeepers from Ghana teamed up with civilian staff from the mission’s Relief, Reintegration and Protection (RRP) section to hand over essential trading items—sugar, coffee, tea bags, milk, beans, onions, mugs, spoons, serving trays and charcoal—to more than 30 women residing in the UN Protection Site in Bentiu, South Sudan. Additionally, a few women were given cash assistance to help them purchase perishable foods. These items are intended to encourage beneficiaries to start small tea and food stalls.


Lieutenant-Colonel Antwi Awaah Darkwa, Commanding Officer of the Ghanain contingent, said that peacekeepers serving under him wanted to go beyond the call of duty to assist these women. “We pooled in our personal funds to do this handover because as a peacekeeper, sometimes, you have to do more than what your role demands. Therefore, we identified some capable South Sudanese women who have been massively affected by the conflict here, provided them with a certain degree of capital to start very, very small-scale business ventures which, hopefully, will generate income and feed their families,” averred Lieutenant-Colonel Darkwa.


Many recipients expressed their excitement and gratitude. “Women often suffer more than men in conflict situations. I am no exception. But today, I am filled with renewed hope after receiving these items from our Ghanian brothers. I can start a small business and be self-reliant once again even though I am far from home,” said Elizabeth Nyayuok.


Another beneficiary, Nyadiet Diang, echoed Elizabeth. “I was struggling to make ends meet and was scared of collecting firewood after dark, though I always wanted to open up a small food stall. However, with the charcoal given to us by these UN peacekeepers, I can make my dream come true and feed my children,” she revealed.


For his part, John Gatjang, RRP representative, encouraged all beneficiaries to start their ventures as soon as possible. “We are hopeful that you will use the funds and items given to you wisely and are confident that you will embrace the challenges of starting up and expanding your own businesses.”


In conclusion, Lieutenant-Colonel Darkwa reiterated the commitment to sustainable peace that every peacekeeper serving with UN Peacekeeping demonstrates. “This is a small gesture from us as Ghanains and as UNMISS peacekeepers to show our dedication towards making sure that the people of South Sudan, especially women, can look forward to a peaceful, prosperous future,” he said, adding that, in his opinion, “the best way to foster reconciliation is through rebuilding livelihoods.”


The handover falls under the umbrella of Civil-Military Coordination (CIMIC) activities within UNMISS.



This Brighter Side of News post courtesy of UNMISS at unmiss.unmissions.org.

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Want to Learn More About UNMISS?


Almost 20,000 peacekeepers serve with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan to protect civilians and build durable peace in the conflict-affected country.


The civilian, police and military personnel from 73 countries carry out many duties under the mandate provided by the United Nations Security Council. Their work falls under four main pillars.


Protection of Civilians: Peacekeepers actively patrol in communities across the country to deter violence and provide a protective presence with a particular focus on areas that displaced people are returning to in the wake of the peace deal. Peacekeepers are also responsible for maintaining safety and security for people living within UNMISS Protection of Civilians sites, deterring and preventing sexual and gender-based violence where possible, and supporting efforts to prevent, mitigate and resolve intercommunal conflict. Another key activity is to work in partnership with humanitarian agencies to support the safe, informed, voluntary and dignified return of displaced families from the POC sites to their homes.


Creating conditions conducive to the delivery of humanitarian assistance: UNMISS peacekeepers work to ensure that humanitarian aid, such as food, clean water, shelter and healthcare, reaches millions of people in need across South Sudan. The aim is also to provide a safe and supportive environment so that displaced people can return to their homes and communities to live safely and with dignity.


Supporting the implementation of the revitalized agreement and the peace process: The Mission is committed to helping build durable peace in South Sudan. It does this by working as an impartial partner at the national and subnational level with political, religious, traditional and community leaders as well as with communities and individuals. UNMISS uses its “good offices” to support the implementation of the peace agreement through the provision of advice and technical assistance. It also supports the Ceasefire and Transitional Security Monitoring and Verification Mechanism in its work to monitor and report on violations of the ceasefire and assists the Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission which is responsible for overseeing the mandate and tasks of the Transitional Government of National Unity and the implementation of the peace agreement.


Monitoring and investigating human rights: The Mission monitors, investigates, verifies and reports on violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law, including those that may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity. A particular focus is on abuses against children and women, including all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. Incidents of hate speech and incitement to violence are also investigated. Technical support is provided to other local, regional and international organizations carrying out similar work in relation to human rights monitoring and reporting.



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