Sudán del Sur
UN Volunteer midwives together with local volunteers help reduce preventable deaths and improve maternal and child health in South Sudan. We further our goals through mentoring, training, classroom teaching, and leading by example. We provide gender sensitive reproductive health services that range from care before family planning and pregnancy, antenatal care, labour, delivery, and postnatal care.
Rose comes from a village in Uganda where many deaths have been attributed to famine. She remembers a particularly difficult time when her community gathered for at least one week to mourn the deceased. The mortality rate had been particularly high due to the outbreak of disease among the new born. The extensive mourning unfortunately had an incendiary effect—interrupted attention to crops and market activities magnified the impact of the famine in her community. In that difficult moment, sorrow had brought on more suffering.
The United Nations Mission in the Republic of South Sudan (UNMISS) was established in 2011 and since the outbreak of conflict in 2013 its mandate has evolved to include the protection of civilians the monitoring and investigating of human rights abuses, support to the South Sudanese–led peace process and support for the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance. Some 440 UN Volunteers, such as myself, are on location supporting mission objectives and assisting local communities.
During conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies, sexual and reproductive health needs are easily overlooked – yet these needs are often staggering. UN Volunteers work in conflict-affected areas hand in hand with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) staff to deploy hygiene supplies, obstetric and family planning supplies, trained personnel, and other support to vulnerable populations, and works to ensure the needs of women and young people are served through both an emergency and the reconstruction phase.
THE STARK REALITY: FOOD CRISIS IN SOMALIA, SOUTH SUDAN, YEMEN AND NIGERIA
The reality of the escalating famine lingers among some of the world’s most vulnerable groups of people in Eastern Africa, and beyond. Having already endured the effects of civil war, poverty, and terrorism, the intensifying need for humanitarian assistance continues to increase throughout Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen, and northern Nigeria.
International UN Volunteer Solomon Bekele (Ethiopia) has been serving with the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in South Sudan since April 2016 as the Pastoralist Literacy and Education Specialist for the project: Enhanced Knowledge and Education for Resilient Pastoral Livelihoods in South Sudan.
Sudan is a vast and diverse country with many facets. The landscape itself is reminiscent of this diversity – Sudan goes from hot deserts to green areas around the Nile. The same diversity applies to the faces of the people you meet. My experience in engaging with women as part of my assignment has also been quite diverse.
Armed conflict has incessantly affected the country. The role of women in the full spectrum of society is fluctuating. My volunteer assignment enables me to look at facets of this spectrum and contribute in any way I can.
Solomon focuses on supporting UNESCO's education component of the project, implementing literacy and numeracy programmes at cattle camps within the Lakes State pastoralist communities.
"As a volunteer, I have gained experience and understanding of the diverse ways of life of communities in the pastoral communities. I am glad I am helping build their capacity and resilience."
Bentiu, South Sudan: From my time as a United Nations Volunteer with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), I will always remember waking up to the sounds of gunshots and heavy mortar shelling on Monday the 16th of December 2013. An uneventful weekend had been followed by one of the most chaotic and frightening times in my life.