Why do we work in South Sudan?
Imagine you live in a country that had been at war with itself for 22 years.
Imagine that your odds of dying in childbirth are greater than your odds of completing primary school. You don't have access to medical care, school or even clean water. Your children are in danger of starvation, disease or being abducted by rebels and held as sex slaves or child soldiers. Most likely, your life has been endangered by food shortages and ongoing violence.
You have nothing. You own nothing—especially not land.
This is today's South Sudan.
With your help, Women for Women International is working with women in South Sudan to rebuild their lives.
What you help us do in South Sudan
Our programs in South Sudan include direct financial aid, rights awareness classes, job-skills training and emotional support. The one-year program was developed for South Sudan’s special challenges and demands, and includes vocational training that helps women earn an income and support themselves, through:
Commercial Integrated Farming Initiative (CIFI) — addressing hunger and poverty by teaching women to make an income with organic farming for commercial production
Bread-making — helping socially excluded women learn baking skills so they can produce and sell baked goods
Small business management — giving women the tools they need to operate and sustain a healthy enterprise
Women for Women International has operated in South Sudan since 2006. We are privileged to have Regina Sulla as our Country Director, overseeing programs that have helped more than 13,000 women in South Sudan.
Among Women for Women International- South Sudan program graduates:
- Average daily income increases from $1.56, up from $0.42 at enrollment
- 92% report improvements in both physical and mental health
- 89% report improvements in their economic situation
- 79% leave the program with knowledge of nutrition
- 75% participate in a social support network
Elizabeth was sold into marriage at a young age. When she had daughters of her own, she wanted them to avoid the same fate. She dreamed that they would be able to finish school.
So when Elizabeth’s husband insisted that their daughter Athieng be given away in an arranged marriage, Elizabeth refused. She hid Athieng away from the family so that her daughter could continue to attend school. For her defiance, Elizabeth was beaten. She was thrown into prison. She was shunned by her entire community.
After turning to Women for Women International, Elizabeth learned to read and write. She received rights awareness and job skills training. She now has a job that pays well enough to keep all her children in school—without depending on an abusive husband.
Elizabeth’s determination to give Athieng the opportunities that she never had has paid off. Athieng is continuing her education and wants to become a lawyer. With her daughter at her side, Elizabeth says, “Now I can imagine a tomorrow that could be better than today."